Logar meeting US secretary of state

Washington – Foreign Minister Anže Logar will visit the United States on Monday to hold talks with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The meeting will be a continuation of the strategic dialogue between the countries that started at the end of 2020 with the Donald Trump administration.

Logar visited the then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in December 2020 and this visit is designed to strengthen the dialogue and help upgrade the Slovenian-US partnership and alliance, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said.

The pair will talk about bilateral and transatlantic cooperation, and exchange views on topical regional and global issues, including the Western Balkans.

Logar will present the Slovenian EU presidency, as one of its focal points has been to strengthen transatlantic relations based on the agreements reached at the EU-US summit in June 2021.

They will also exchange views on possibilities for deepening economic cooperation between Slovenia and the US.

This is the third bilateral meeting at the level of foreign ministers in the last year and a half after Pompeo visited Slovenia in August 2020 and Logar visited the US in December 2020.

The focus of the first meeting of the strategic dialogue between the US and Slovenia was the Western Balkans, the spread of misinformation, cybersecurity and energy security, opportunities in infrastructure and logistics, and cooperation in international fora.

It had been agreed that the next meeting of the strategic dialogue would be held in the first half of this year.

Logar was accompanied in Washington last year by Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec, who signed a memorandum of understanding about strategic civil nuclear cooperation between Slovenia and the US.

“I always stress that this alliance is one of the key partnerships that Slovenia must build, nurture and develop. We advocate the same view on the EU level,” Logar recently told the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee.

He added his priority was a confident and much more proactive foreign policy “that will strive to strengthen alliances with all countries in the world with which our country shares values and interests”.

The opposition has been critical of the government’s foreign policy after PM Janez Janša raised some dust with his Tweets related to the US election. Former Ambassador to UN and US Roman Kirn was also very critical about Janša’s siding with Trump and declaring his victory when votes were still being counted.

During his visit to the US at the end of last year, Logar rejected all such considerations and expressed the conviction that the strategic dialogue he and Pompeo had started would continue during President Joe Biden’s administration.

Biden also nominated a new ambassador to Slovenia quite quickly. Jamie Linder Harpootlian has been endorsed by the the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will take office pending a vote by the entire Senate.