The Slovenia Times

FM Logar and Maltese colleague Bartolo agree on migration issue


Ljubljana - Foreign Minister Anže Logar and his Maltese counterpart Evarist Bartolo, who is on an official visit to Slovenia, said on Wednesday that reforms in the EU's migration policy were necessary. The pair agreed that migration issues should be tackled primarily in countries of origin, adding the same applied to the situation in Afghanistan.

Migration topped the agenda of today's talks in Ljubljana. Logar later said at a joint press conference that Slovenia and Malta shared views on Afghanistan as both countries were willing to take in a share of Afghans who had helped the EU as a sign of solidarity with other member countries.

However, Malta and Slovenia are not willing to welcome any additional refugees in the event of a potential migration wave, Logar added.

The ministers also agreed that to keep the situation under control cooperation with Afghanistan's neighbouring countries was necessary.

Noting that this was a very complex issue, Bartolo said that Afghans should be helped in Afghanistan. He called for quiet diplomacy, saying he was against military interventions or imposition of political systems coming from abroad.

The Maltese foreign minister believes that countries should find their own way. "Political systems, socio-economic systems should emerge within the country, they could not be imposed from outside," he said.

Logar and Bartolo highlighted the need for the EU's pact on migration and asylum to be made as soon as possible.

Bartolo said that change was necessary, adding that it was evident relocation programmes had not worked and other solutions should be worked out. He pointed to an option of additional migrant registration centres in third countries.

Moving on to another topics, Logar said he was glad Slovenia would soon join the EuroMed 7 alliance of Mediterranean and Southern EU member states, highlighting that this step would "boost cooperation further as well as strengthen the role and influence of these countries in the EU".

Bartolo, who is also satisfied by this development, said "the EU should pay more attention to the Mediterranean region [...] as there could be no peace and security in Europe if there is no peace and security in the Mediterranean and Africa".

According to the Foreign Ministry, it is expected Slovenia will formally join the EuroMed 7 alliance next month alongside Croatia as Greece is to host a EuroMed 7 summit on 17 September. Afterwards, the group will be renamed EuroMed 9.

During his visit, Bartolo was also received by President Borut Pahor. The Maltese foreign minister is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Janez Janša and parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič as well.


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