Fajon tours Middle East to support efforts for lasting peace
Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon urged steps towards lasting peace and push for a peace process that would lead to a two-state solution as she toured Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt with her Portuguese counterpart Joao Gomes Cravinho on 24 and 25 November, just when a four-day ceasefire came into effect in Gaza.
"The only guarantee for the safety of Israeli people is a peace process that would lead to the recognition of a Palestinian state," Fajon said at a joint press conference with Cravinho and their Israeli counterpart Eli Koen on the first day on the tour.
As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2024-2025, Slovenia will support, to the best of its abilities, all efforts leading to a two-state solution and permanent peace, the minister promised in a pledge that she would echo in Ramallah, Amman and Cairo.
Fajon praised the ceasefire agreement that came into effect in Gaza, expressing the hope that the hostages held by Hamas will be released and that the agreement will lead to a permanent ceasefire.
Fajon and Cravinho also visited a kibbutz and met with the relatives of some of the Israelis who were kidnapped by Hamas on 7 October.
"We stand by Israel in its fight against terrorism and extremism. Our visit to the kibbutz was heartbreaking. I understand the fear and the anger and condemn in the strongest of terms violence and all forms of extremism," Fajon said.
"But bearing witness to the many casualties among Palestinians, thousands of children and women in Gaza, is horrendous," she said, calling on Israel to respect international humanitarian law.
Cravinho underlined that diplomacy will play a key role in establishing peace in the region, while Koen thanked his visiting counterparts for their support for Israel, He said his country would continue fighting to destroy Hamas.
Fajon and Cravinho also met Israeli President Issac Herzog before travelling to Ramallah in the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
Describing the talks as "good and sincere" on X, Fajon reiterated her call for a roadmap and peace process leading to a two-state solution. She pledged again that "Slovenia will do everything, especially in its role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, for a lasting peace in the Middle East".
She said "the people of Gaza are suffering unspeakable horrors, and being a child in Gaza is the most dangerous thing in the world today".
On the second day of their tour, Fajon and Cravinho visited Jordan for a meeting with Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and then Egypt, where they met Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and were received by President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi.
"We need a permanent ceasefire and we need a concrete peace plan with a concrete end goal - and this is the two-state solution with the recognition of Palestine. But the way there is long and complex, we know that, that's why we need to talk, to listen to each other," she said after talks in Amman.
"Maybe this crisis is also an opportunity to start seriously discussing further steps," she said, describing the talks in Jordan as very good and extensive. "There are many good ideas but we need to see a permanent ceasefire first and urgent humanitarian assistance," she added.
Similar topics and calls topped the talks in Egypt. The minister also thanked Egypt for its assistance to the people in Gaza and for brokering the ceasefire.