The Slovenia Times

Slovenia advocates rule of law, international law in Trieste


"Slovenia is an important bridge between the European Union and the Western Balkan countries, because it knows the region well and can thus contribute to better understanding between the two sides," Cerar said on the sidelines of the conference.

"These are countries that are burdened with the past and various conflicts, so it's particularly important that by honouring international legal norms and international law in general they show they are capable of reaching the level the EU must constantly ensure as well."

Similarly, Minister Erjavec warned that the situation in the Western Balkans was still "very unstable", noting that this would be difficult to improve without respect for international contracts and the rule of law.

In this context, both officials underlined the importance of the arbitration ruling setting the border between Slovenia and Croatia as an example of how bilateral disputes can be solved in a legal way.

Cerar assessed that his stressing the importance of the implementation of the ruling had been received well.

"In the informal talks I received support for the view that Slovenia advocates: respect for the arbitration ruling, international law and the rule of law," Cerar said.

He said the issue of the implementation had not been broached, but "that is, I believe, the only way and that's what the statesmen, top level officials understand".

Cerar is convinced that talks with Croatia, including today's meeting with Croatian PM Andrej Plenković, will result in everyone understanding the significance of the implementation of the arbitration ruling.

The prime minister also confirmed he had briefly discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who repeated Germany's position that the ruling must be honoured.

Erjavec, meanwhile held talks with his British counterpart Boris Johnson and European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

He said the situation in the Western Balkans must constantly be on the agenda in Brussels. "It's a matter of stability and the stability of the EU also depends on the stability of the Western Balkans," he said, pointing to the issue of migration.

Erjavec said that Johnson had agreed that international law and the border arbitration agreement must be respected.

Border issues are a key challenge in the stabilisation of the Western Balkans, Erjavec highlighted.

The summit was also attended by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, who stressed the importance of Slovenia's business cooperation with the region, especially due to the cultural and historical ties.

The foreign minister also welcomed the signing of a contract on transport community between the countries of the Western Balkans and the EU.

Touching on security in the Western Balkans, he pointed to the importance of education and a positive outlook for young people, which takes their minds off of other, negative paths that lead to security threats.


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