The following is the text of a joint statement by the Governments of Slovenia and the United States of America.
The Governments of Slovenia and the United States held the second session of the Slovenia-U.S. Strategic Dialogue in Ljubljana on March 14, 2022. The dialogue was led by Political Director Jernej Müller, Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Robin Dunnigan, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Slovenia and the United States are linked by historical friendship, shared values, strategic partnership, and the NATO Alliance. Both countries exchanged substantive dialogue on key issues of common interest in December 2020 during the visit of Anže Logar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, to Washington, D.C. where the inaugural Strategic Dialogue between Slovenia and the United States was held. This dialogue provides the main framework for discussion on strategic global and regional issues and areas of bilateral cooperation.
The two countries exchanged views on the latest developments in Eastern Europe and its neighborhood, including their joint condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unjustified, unprovoked war against Ukraine. Both countries reaffirmed their unfaltering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the need for countries to respect their obligations under international law.
The second session took place at a time replete with global challenges, including Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. The dialogue highlighted the importance both countries attach to bilateral cooperation and cooperation in multilateral fora in addressing issues that impact the security, prosperity, and resilience of both countries.
The dialogue covered three main topics:
- global and regional security issues, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, cybersecurity, energy security, and countering disinformation;
- multilateral cooperation; and
- cooperation on economic issues, the climate challenge, and support for our shared democratic values.
On global and regional security issues, aside from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the discussion focused on the Western Balkans region, including the importance of maintaining positive momentum on EU integration for aspirants that qualify, the shared commitment to BiH’s stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; advancing the ongoing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina; and new regional economic integration initiatives.
The discussion included reaffirmation of our commitment to mutual defense as members of the NATO Alliance, the premier forum for Transatlantic cooperation and Euro-Atlantic security, and the importance of building the Alliance’s tools and capabilities to tackle shared security challenges.
Slovenia and the United States enjoy close partnerships within international organizations, with the views of the two countries well aligned on a wide range of issues. The countries reaffirmed their excellent cooperation on human rights issues, the fight against corruption, the preservation of democratic values, and the commitment to maintain a rules-based international order. Slovenia presented its approach to addressing challenges to international peace and security in the context of its candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2024-2025 term.
The discussion on other substantive issues also revealed a common understanding of challenges and opportunities, particularly in the areas of improving cyber-security and resilience, countering disinformation, and combatting climate change. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace and shared interest in holding accountable states that act contrary to this framework and engage in disruptive, destructive, or otherwise destabilizing behavior in cyberspace. Additionally, the two sides agreed the Three Seas Initiative could play an important geopolitical, economic, and developmental role in the region. Ample opportunities remain to strengthen our cooperation on economic issues, including on energy security.
The parties decided the next Strategic Dialogue would take place in Washington.