Norway and Slovenia seek deepening of cooperation

Oslo – Foreign Minister Anže Logar visited Norway on Friday to meet his counterpart Anniken Scharning Huitfeldt. The pair discussed opportunities to further strengthen cooperation. Slovenia’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council was also discussed during what was the first visit by a Slovenian foreign minister in Norway in 18 years.

Logar and Huitfeldt expressed satisfaction that the two countries had set up excellent and amicable relations in nearly 30 years of cooperation, particularly in multilateral and security areas, and fields covering human rights, promotion of peace and democracy, gender equality, as well as within the framework of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Both countries advocate efficient multilateralism and under these efforts, they share many similar views on current international issues, the Foreign Ministry said.

Logar presented Slovenia’s candidacy to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, as well as the key achievements of the country’s second EU presidency, which will wrap up this month.

The pair reviewed possibilities to expand cooperation in all areas of shared interest, including options to upgrade economic ties where there is a lot of untapped potential, especially in environmental technology, e-mobility, artificial intelligence, ICTs, construction, circular economy, defence industry, tourism and sports investment.

The ministers also talked about further plans to combat the coronavirus pandemic, focussing on collaboration under Norway and EEA’s financial mechanism, a foundation for bilateral cooperation.

The meeting heard that Norway was a strong ally of the EU and a reliable partner, and that both Norway and Slovenia were committed to a safe, unified and strong EU that guarantees internal, economic and social security.

Huitfeldt and Logar also exchanged views on current EU issues, with an emphasis on migration, Schengen reform and green transition.

When it comes to the Western Balkans, they agreed that it was necessary to focus on efforts to create jobs and promote economic growth in the region to ensure stability, security and Euro-Atlantic prospects for the region’s countries.

They exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan, Turkey, Eastern Mediterranean, China and Russia, as well as on the role of transatlantic cooperation, one of the Slovenian presidency’s priorities, and security issues and cooperation under NATO.

Logar also met Ine Eriksen Soereide, the chair of Norway’s parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and former foreign minister.

They exchanged views on current foreign policy developments in the international community, in particular the situation in the Western Balkans and relations with Russia. They also talked abut Slovenia’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the ministry said in a press release.