STA, 6 January 2020 - President Borut Pahor has called for a de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East as he made an appeal for a peaceful resolution of disputes following the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the US.
"I'm in favour of a de-escalation of tensions on all sides," Pahor said on Monday, adding that he has always been "an advocate of a peaceful resolution of disputes".
Pahor also acknowledged that the order by US President Donald Trump to kill Soleimani had "caused tensions across the Middle East and in the entire international community".
As the supreme commander of the armed forces the president is briefed on the state of the six-strong Slovenian contingent currently in Iraq helping to train the local security forces.
"They are safe, together with their German colleagues. They are assessing the situation. In the event the decision is taken that their status in Iraq has to change, the Slovenian state will immediately respond."
Overall, Slovenia plans to keep a close eye on the developments in Iraq, where the situation is "complex," according to Pahor.
The Slovenian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about the escalation of the conflict between the US and Iran, and condemned all kinds of violence and the latest armed attacks in Iraq, which it said increased risks for more violence in the entire region.
"Violence and attacks on civilians, diplomatic and consular missions and on cultural monuments are a blatant violation of civilisational norms and international law, so we oppose such acts," the ministry said in a release.
It urged all sides to avoid any acts that could lead to further destabilisation of Iraq and the region, calling for dialogue.
The ministry added it was in contact with the Slovenian soldiers in Iraq, stressing they were there as part of a global coalition against Islamic State (IS) which played a key role in strengthening the Iraqi military forces' capabilities in fighting IS.
"We believe it is in the interest of the global coalition and of Iraq and the region's long-term stability for the international community to continue to provide Iraq with assistance as Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully respected," the ministry said.