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Meloni Confirms Checks at the Slovenian Border Are ‘Temporary and Proportionate’

epa10974772 Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni (R) with Slovenian Premier Robert Golob (L) during a press conference after their meeting at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, Italy, 14 November 2023. EPA-EFE/Riccardo Antimiani

The border controls introduced at the border with Slovenia at the end of October to deal with growing migratory pressure are ”temporary and proportionate”, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told her Slovenian counterpart Robert Golob during his Rome visit on Wednesday.

Italy decided to reintroduce border checks at its border with Slovenia at the end of October, citing growing migratory pressure along the Balkan route and concerns that the current situation in the Middle East could increase terrorist-linked activities. On Wednesday, the two discussed how the cross-border communities are dealing with the reintroduction of border controls and immigration.

“We are both aware that Schengen has been an extraordinary achievement to be preserved. The common commitment is to restore the ordinary border regime as soon as conditions allow”, Meloni said.

It is a “temporary and proportionate” suspension of border checks.

Besides Italy and Slovenia, Schengen members France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have all reintroduced some form of border checks.

The two leaders also discussed the war between Israel and Palestine more generally.

Italy and Slovenia pledged to send humanitarian aid to Gaza by sea. Italy has already sent one of its hospitals on the ship, and Slovenia has promised to cooperate “to the best of its ability”.

“We hope that humanitarian aid to Gaza will start as soon as possible and that, therefore, the sea route is the most suitable way to help this unfortunate population of Gaza to get our aid there. This is why we are very grateful to Italy for this initiative, and we will gladly associate ourselves with it”, said Golob.

The meeting between Meloni and Golob was also an opportunity to discuss the selection of Gorizia and Nova Gorica as European Capitals of Culture 2025.

The two countries pledged to cooperate on joint initiatives that could offer mutual economic and social development opportunities. Slovenia also reaffirmed its decision to support Rome’s bid for the Expo in 2030.

“With Prime Minister Golob, we had an in-depth and fruitful exchange of views on the main bilateral issues on the European and international agenda. We talked about how to strengthen bilateral cooperation that is going very well, particularly in recent times”, Meloni added.

Source : Euractive