The Slovenia Times

German Foreign Minister Steinmeier Visits Slovenia


The foreign ministers are to discuss the Mediterranean migrant crisis, ties with Russia, the situation in the Middle East and the Western Balkans, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release ahead of the visit.

The visit is a continuation of the countries' regular and strong political dialogue at the highest level, the ministry added.

Erjavec and Steinmeier will further discuss key bilateral issues and topical EU and international affairs. The officials are also expected to exchange views about the Iranian nuclear programme.

In an interview with the Thursday edition of the daily Delo Steinmeier addressed some of the issues which will be broached during his visit.

He underlined among other things that the Europeans should not be indifferent to migrant deaths in the Mediterranean and stressed the need to find a solution to the problem.

"We must start at the source of the problem: with crises in the countries that like Libya are transit countries for many refugees. The EU will therefore propose to the African Union and the countries affected a summit to tackle these issues."

As regards the Ukraine crisis, Steinmeier said that the important thing was "for the European Union to keep up coordinated action and to insist on dual approach - through clear messages to Russia, including sanctions if necessary, and at the same time remaining open for dialogue."

Steinmeier described the relationship between his country and Slovenia as excellent, labelling Slovenia as a role model and a bridge for Western Balkan countries as they progress on the path to the EU and NATO.

Germany is one of Slovenia's biggest economic partners and the number one market for the country's exports, accounting for about a fifth of Slovenia's external trade. Last year the figure reached EUR 8.8bn.


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