London – Prime Minister Janez Janša paid a working visit to the United Kingdom on Thursday for talks his British counterpart Boris Johnson. Bilateral political ties, fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and the EU-UK relations topped the agenda, the prime minister’s office said.
Janša and Johnson also discussed cooperation in light of Slovenia’s EU presidency and the presidency of the UK of the COP26 climate conference, and topical foreign policy issues, in particular Afghanistan and the Western Balkans.
The office of the British prime minister said in a press release that Janša and Johnson had discussed the strong bilateral relations in the last 30 years, including in trade and foreign policy.
It added that the prime ministers had agreed on the need to encourage stability and progress in the Western Balkans.
As part of the discussion on fighting Covid-19, they talked about the important role of vaccination in protecting people and opening of economies. They agreed about the importance of fight against misinformation regarding vaccines.
Ahead of the COP26 summit in October, Johnson said that all countries should adopt concrete commitments to fighting climate change, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to abandoning the use of coal.
According to the office, Prime Minister Johnson praised the commitments taken by Slovenia so far in this field.
He also expressed concern about the Northern Ireland Protocol and its effect on the residents of Northern Ireland. He said the EU should make an effort to find a lasting solution to the problem that would not undermine the Good Friday Agreement.
Janša first met Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, with whom he talked about bilateral relations, topical international issues and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Slovenian prime minister and Truss also discussed ways to boost business ties, fight against cyber threats and deepen cultural relations.
Accompanied by Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly, Janša then visited the National Cyber Security Centre to meet its leadership.
International cooperation in cyber security issues is of key importance for protection from all hybrid threats, the office of the Slovenian prime minister said.
Janša also met Joao Vale de Almeida, the ambassador of the EU to the UK, over a working lunch.
The prime minister’s office assessed that bilateral relations with the UK are very good and friendly, with today’s visit meaning that political dialogue at the highest level is being intensified.
The UK is the 20th largest trade partner to Slovenia, and the volume of investments increases on both sides. Last year, direct investments from the UK stood at EUR 501 million, which makes the UK the 9th largest foreign investor in Slovenia.