FM Fajon advocates for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Ljubljana, 15 November - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said at a session of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee that it is crucial to establish a humanitarian pause as violations of international law are taking place in Gaza. She said that she planed to visit Middle East soon.

Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo

Fajon did not offer details on the planned visit to the Middle East for security reasons.

When asked about the position of Slovenia and the EU on various aspects of the war between Israel and the Palestinian extremist movement Hamas, Fajon responded that there are severe breaches of international humanitarian law.

"The fact is that international humanitarian law does not allow the use of civilians as a human shield, does not allow the supply to critical infrastructure and hospitals to be suspended, it does not allow starvation," Fajon said.

There is suspicion of crimes of international concern, but the matter will be decided by international courts, mainly the International Criminal Court, the minister said. The investigation of the situation in Palestine is ongoing and concerns the suspected war and international crimes since 2014, including current events.

She added that European foreign ministers have adopted a position that humanitarian aid, humanitarian pause and the protection of civilians are necessary.

Meanwhile, MP Matej Tašner Vatovec of the Left said that a humanitarian pause was not enough and that a ceasefire is needed. On the other hand, the Democrats' (SDS) MP Andrej Hoivik said that any ceasefire would give an opportunity to Hamas to reorganise and arm itself.

When asked whether Hamas and its ideology can be destroyed, Fajon responded that it is difficult as civilian deaths and closed hospitals promote terrorism in the area. "I believe that with every new attack, with every civilian death, every child killed, that anger is bigger, so it is key to establish some sort of a ceasefire and then talk on how to proceed," said Fajon.

She said that Hamas is a terrorist organisation with the goal to destroy Israel and that at the same time the growing anti-Semitism is causing concern. That is why the EU agreed that talks with other players in the region are needed to prevent the situation from escalating and that the solution of two-states would be discussed.

The EU agreed that it will not stand for the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza and will support the strengthening of Palestinian authorities and the continued work of the UN in the area.

Fajon said that Slovenia is working with Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ireland, who share similar views, to try and de-escalate the conflict and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the Middle East.

The Freedom Movement's MP Miroslav Gregorič asked Fajon whether the foreign policy strategy will also take into account the preparations for peace negotiations in Gaza and Ukraine.

Fajon responded that the foreign policy strategy has been and that the government is expected to discuss it next week along with the declaration on foreign policy and the priorities that Slovenia will pursue on the UN Security Council. The parliamentary foreign policy committee is expected to discuss the strategy in December.

As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Slovenia will be able to act as an intermediary to help achieve peace. Slovenia is supporting Ukraine in questions of aid and territorial integrity and is hoping that the war in Ukraine will end soon. "Ukraine now seems forgotten but it is important to achieve peace there as soon as possible," said Fajon, adding that she is actively involved in the peace formula of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

© STA, 2023