Minister Joly to travel to Slovenia, North Macedonia and Albania
August 25, 2023 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that she will be travelling to Slovenia, North Macedonia and Albania from August 27 to September 2, 2023, to reaffirm Canada’s support for and solidarity with the countries that are directly affected by Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine. This is in line with the commitment made by Canada and its Allies during the most recent NATO summit held in Vilnius, Lithuania, to present a united front against autocracy and authoritarianism, and to combat misinformation at every opportunity.
During the first part of her trip, Minister Joly will participate in the Bled Strategic Forum, a leading annual international conference hosted by Slovenia to identify solutions to contemporary and emerging political, security, strategic, and developmental challenges. During the conference, the Minister will participate in a panel discussion on the future of multilateralism. She will meet with partners directly affected by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, such as Moldova. She will also meet with key figures of countries impacted by autocratic and authoritarian regimes, including the Belarusian opposition leader. This will serve as an important opportunity for the Minister to listen to the experience of countries in the region, better understand their reality and explore concrete ways to support these partners.
Minister Joly will then travel to Skopje, North Macedonia, to meet with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski, Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Slavjanka Petrovska, Minister of Defense. They will discuss the political, trade and investment relations between the 2 countries, as well as progress on North Macedonia’s accession to the European Union.
Minister Joly will conclude her trip with a stop in Tirana, Albania, where she will meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama, Olta Xhaçka, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Niko Peleshi, Minister of Defence. They will discuss partnerships and support on shared priorities, including, but not limited to, the rule of law, good governance, diversity, disability and women’s economic empowerment.
“Slovenia, North Macedonia and Albania are key partners for Canada in Europe. Our shared defence of democracy and pursuit of a rules-based world order unite us. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues in the region to help strengthen our relationships and continue our collaboration on a variety of important regional and international issues.”
- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
North Macedonia currently serves as chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and Albania currently sits on the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Albania will take over the presidency of the UN Security Council in September, and will focus heavily on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Slovenia was also recently elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2024 to2025 term.
Canada has excellent relations with Slovenia, which has been a NATO Ally since 2004. Slovenia is a member of the European Union, one of Canada’s most important international partners. Canada recognized Slovenian independence in January 1992, and established diplomatic relations a year later.
Canada’s priorities regarding North Macedonia are to encourage continued reform efforts in the country, enhance trade and investment relations, and support progress in North Macedonia’s European Union accession.
Canada and Albania have a positive diplomatic relationship based on modest Canadian commercial investment in Albania and a partnership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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