Borut Pahor, Slovenia PM.
(photo credit: Sebastien Pirlet/Reuters)
Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor is scheduled to arrive Monday for a meeting
that, in light of the expected vote on Palestinian statehood at the UN in
September, has taken on added significance.
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Of the former Soviet bloc
countries that entered the EU, Slovenia is considered to be the coldest nation
toward Israel. This is widely attributed to the fact that it takes foreign
policy cues from Austria – itself among the states more critical of Israel
inside the EU.
Slovenia was one of only five of the 27 EU countries that
voted against Israel, and for the adoption of the Goldstone Commission on
Operation Cast Lead in 2009. The other four countries were Cyprus, Ireland,
Malta and Portugal.
Pahor is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu for lunch on Monday, during which the September UN vote is expected to
figure prominently in discussions.
Both Israel and the Palestinians are
lobbying the EU countries feverishly in the run-up to September.
addition to meeting Netanyahu, Pahor is scheduled to meet Tuesday with President
Shimon Peres and opposition head Tzipi Livni. During the three-day trip –
expected to be heavy on meetings with business people – Pahor will also go to
Ramallah for consultations with the Palestinian leadership.