Tuesday, September 21st | 15 Tishri 5782

August 23, 2021 4:16 pm

Slovenia Backs Israeli Push to Revive High-Level Ties With EU, Signs Bilateral Cybersecurity Pact

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Anze Logar meets with Israel’s Yair Lapid in Jerusalem. Photo: Jorge Novomisky / Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Israel and Slovenia on Monday have committed to bilateral cooperation in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, as the two countries agreed to work together to help reconvene a high-level dialogue between the Jewish state and the European Union (EU).

The cybersecurity agreement was signed in Jerusalem between Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Slovenian counterpart, Anze Logar. At a working meeting, the two ministers also discussed the re-establishment of the EU-Israel Association Council, which has not taken place since 2012.

Lapid called Slovenia a “trusted friend and a trusted ally” and said that relations between the two countries “extend from the bilateral to the multilateral, whether at the UN or the EU — we know we can count on your support.”

“It was during your presidency of the European Union when I spoke in Brussels with all the foreign ministers of Europe, and I hope it will be also during your presidency that the EU-Israel Association Council will finally take place. It will be a symbol of improving relations between Israel and the European Union and a symbol of your leadership,” Lapid remarked.

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Logar, who invited Lapid to visit the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, described Israel as an important partner and confirmed the country’s commitment to help revive the high-level dialogue between the EU and Israel.

“Slovenia greatly appreciates close and friendly ties with Israel. We will continue regular bilateral dialogue and cooperation in new areas. You can count on us to help with building EU relations with Israel,” Logar said.

Lapid took the opportunity to thank Logar for his visit and solidarity during Operation Guardian of the Walls: “While rockets rained down on Israel, including my house in Tel Aviv, our flag flew high in your country. It was a gesture of real solidarity and of true friendship.”

“My friend, in the last 30 years, our countries have come closer, economic relations have expanded, relations between peoples have flourished, governments have worked closely together, there is more tourism, more trade, more joint projects and more cooperation on every level,” he added.

Logar’s visit follows Slovenia reenacting a parachute jump in July to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first Jewish female paratrooper, Hannah Szenes (Senesh), and to commemorate Jewish paratroopers during the Second World War. The historical parachute jump was performed at the Cerklje airport in Slovenia, close to the site of Szenes’s original jump.

“Last month, we celebrated the first friendship day of Israel and Slovenia. The decision to mark this day with a tribute to Hannah Szenes was beautiful. Szenes is a national symbol and now also a symbol of our shared history. A history which goes back longer that our 30 years of official relationship, which we will celebrate next year,” Lapid said.

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