Ljubljana: India and Slovenia held the 9th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Ljubljana and reviewed the progress made in the bilateral ties in the last year despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Saturday.

In a statement today, MEA said both sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues including that on Afghanistan and Ukraine.

"The 9th India-Slovenia Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) were held on 06 January 2023 in Ljubljana. The Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs and the Slovenian side was led by Samuel Zbogar, State Secretary for Political and Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia," the MEA said in a statement.

"India and Slovenia also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including - Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, European Union, United Nations, climate action, India's G20 Presidency and International Year of Millet 2023," the statement added.

The last foreign office consultations in physical format was held in July 2010. The MEA said India and Slovenia celebrated 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022.

The two countries share a strong bilateral relationship marked by regular exchanges at both political and official levels. Trade and economic activities between India and Slovenia are fast regaining pre-Covid levels.

"The FOC provided an opportunity to review the progress made in the bilateral ties in the last one year despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-pandemic. Both sides discussed the way forward in crucial sectors such as Agriculture, Health, S&T, Defense, Space, Migration and Mobility, Climate innovation and Renewable energy," the statement added.

The re-launch of FTA negotiations and Connectivity partnership between India and the EU were acknowledged as key drivers for furthering economic relations at bilateral and India-EU levels.

"During the visit, Secretary (West) called on Predrag Bakovic, Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Suzana Lep Simenko, Chairperson of Friendship Group of Slovenian Parliamentarians on India.

He also met the other members of the Friendship Group, members of the Indian Community and eminent members of the Slovenian community from culture and education fields. On January 5, he also held a business meeting with the members of Slovenia's business community.

The two sides looked forward to holding the next FOC in 2024 in India.