Austrian foreign minister due in Ljubljana on Monday

Ljubljana – Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon will host her Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg in Ljubljana on Monday in what will be her first international bilateral meeting since the new Slovenian government assumed office. Schallenberg will also meet Prime Minister Robert Golob and President Borut Pahor.

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry said the topics under discussion will include the countries’ cooperation at the bilateral level, in the EU and in regional associations. Fajon and Schallenberg are to devote special attention to the war in Ukraine and the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

At her pre-confirmation presentation in parliament on Monday, Fajon described the relationship between Slovenia and Austria as friendly, multifaceted and one of two allies. Austria ranks as one of Slovenia’s most important trading partners. Fajon said she would like for the bilateral relationship to be further enhanced and for issues concerning ethnic minorities to be resolved.

She raised the issue of the notification of the Austrian State Treaty and said she would like this to happen as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Austria has been seeking for the German-speaking community in Slovenia to be officially recognised bilaterally and at the European level.

One issue that the ministers are unlikely to avoid is Austria’s continued checks on what is its internal Schengen border with Slovenia. Fajon has been advocating reform of Schengen rules.