There were 621 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 391,785 in the last 365 days.

Minister Fajon: EU Mediterranean countries must raise their voice for ceasefire and protection of civilians in Gaza

SLOVENIA, November 22 - The MED-9 foreign ministers discussed key issues that will also be on the agenda of the forthcoming Foreign Affairs Council and European Council meetings. In a discussion on the situation in the Middle East, Minister Tanja Fajon reiterated Slovenia's position on the urgency of a ceasefire, the protection of civilians and the commitment to a two-state solution leading to lasting peace. She welcomed the ceasefire agreement and the release of 50 hostages as an important step towards a peaceful resolution. "As soon as the violence stops, a political solution based on peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians is the only guarantee for peace," she stressed.

The talks also focused on the possibility for MED-9 countries to coordinate humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. "The Middle East is our immediate neighbourhood, and MED-9 could play a more prominent role in the EU's common approach to the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip," said Minister Fajon.

The ministers also turned their attention to the Union for the Mediterranean Regional Forum meeting foreign ministers, which will take place on 27 November 2023 in Barcelona. The meeting will be an important opportunity to discuss the situation in the Middle East together with the countries of the Mediterranean region.

In a discussion on cooperation with the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood, the ministers discussed the common challenges facing the Mediterranean countries, including climate change, migration, energy security and food security. Minister Fajon pointed out that we must not neglect young people. "Today, the Mediterranean is home to the largest generation of young people in history, and we need to support them," she stressed, highlighting the role of the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) based in Slovenia.

The ministers agreed on the need to continue the meetings at ministerial level and to ensure sufficient European funding for the Mediterranean region, which is also of strategic importance for the EU.

MED-9 is an informal group of Mediterranean countries of the European Union consisting of Spain, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Spain. In pursuit of common commitments to further consolidate the group, this year's thematic ministerial meetings are for the first time covering areas such as energy, the digital economy and EU affairs, which pave the way for the summit and broaden cooperation. These annual meetings represent a positive practice and a firm basis to build momentum for further cooperation.