The Slovenia Times

Australia, Slovenia seeking to lift ties to new level


The visit is hopefully "the first step towards the strengthening of relations between Slovenia and Australia," Erjavec said.

"I'm delighted to be here 26 years after diplomatic relations were established, let me assure you it will not be the last," Bishop said.

"We have much in common, much to do, and together we can add to the aspiration for peace, prosperity and security around the globe."

Slovenia is currently chairing the Human Rights Council and the pair "agreed to cooperate productively", which will in turn contribute to high-level dialogue, according to Erjavec.

Bishop said Australia, which is a member of the council for the first time, would bring a pragmatic and principled approach to our deliberations and be a voice for the Pacific."

Slovenia's priorities include strengthening security, universal sustainable development, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Australia, Bishop said, is focused on human rights in the context of gender equality, freedom of speech and freedom of expression, as well as indigenous rights.

"I'm sure that under your leadership the human rights council will make the necessary reforms that we believe need to underpin its work," she said.

The pair also broached issues such as the situation in the Western Balkans and Ukraine, migrations, the radicalisation of Islam, and foreign fighters.

In bilateral relations, the focus was on expanding trade, which totalled just EUR 91m last year. Bishop said the figure "may seem modest but there are some very positive examples."

Erjavec said there were plenty of opportunities to increase trade, with Bishop for example highlighting that Australia was a big net importer of milk from Central Europe.

Bishop also noted that Australia was keen on commencing formal talks on a free trade agreement with the EU and said Australia "appreciated Slovenian support."

Bishop was hosted for a working breakfast by Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan and met President Borut Pahor.


More from Nekategorizirano