On the invitation of Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister Dr Anže Logar is paying an official visit to the Kingdom of Norway. Cooperation between Slovenia and Norway is excellent, and the ministers discussed opportunities for further widening and strengthening mutual collaboration.
Minister Logar and Minister Huitfeldt expressed their satisfaction with the excellent and friendly relations between the two countries established over almost 30 years of cooperation, particularly in the multilateral and security fields, human rights, promotion of peace and democracy, gender equality and within the European Economic Area. Both countries are advocates of effective multilateralism and share many similar positions on the current international topics. Minister Logar informed his Norwegian colleague of Slovenia’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
The ministers reviewed the possibilities of the further deepening of economic cooperation, where Slovenia sees untapped potential in environmental technologies, electromobility, artificial intelligence, ICT, circular economy, defence industry, tourism and sport investments.
They went on to discuss additional plans for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and devoted some attention to cooperation in the framework of the Norwegian and EEA Financial Mechanisms, which provide the basis for bilateral cooperation. Norway is the EU’s strong ally and trustworthy partner, although not its member state. Both countries strive for a safe, unified and strong EU guaranteeing internal, economic and social security. Minister Logar also outlined to his colleague the key achievements of the second Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The talks continued with an exchange of views on the topical European issues, in particular the Schengen area, migration and the Green Deal. With regard to the Western Balkans, the ministers agreed that in order to maintain the stability, security and Euro-Atlantic perspective of the Western Balkan states, main focus should be on job creation and economic growth in the region.
Discussing current international topics, Minister Logar and Minister Huitfeldt exchanged opinions on the situation in Afghanistan, Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean, China and the Russian Federation, and talked in some length about the security issues and cooperation within NATO and the importance of transatlantic cooperation, which is one of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Minister Logar also met with Ine Eriksen Søreide, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence of the Norwegian Parliament and former foreign minister. They discussed the current foreign policy developments in the international community, focusing on the Western Balkans and relations with the Russian Federation, and talked about Slovenia’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Friday’s visit by Minister Logar in Norway is the first bilateral visit by a Slovenian foreign minister to Norway in 18 years.