Statement by U.S. Ambassador Lynda C. Blanchard aboard USS Porter

Koper, August 30, 2019

Good Morning.

Thank you all for being here to help us welcome Commander Craig Trent and the entire crew of the USS Porter to Slovenia.  Having a U.S. destroyer docked in the Port of Koper is a powerful symbol of our enduring bilateral defense relationship, and of the contributions we make together to regional and global security as NATO allies.  Such vital commitments made to the Alliance have been a key focus of the Administration, and will be a high priority for me as the U.S. Ambassador.  So I was pleased to hear that the amazing support we received from Luka Koper, in coordination with Slovenian Armed Forces, was essential to the success of this year’s extensive series of joint exercises – demonstrating the important role this country plays in our shared security.

I’m fortunate to be joined today by senior officials and political leaders engaged at the highest levels on defense policy, which I think is a very positive reflection of Slovenia’s dedication to fostering even closer ties with the U.S. in this critical area.

With that I’d like to offer State Secretary Nataša Dolenc the opportunity to say a few words as well.

Thanks again to all of our distinguished guests for joining us here in Koper, to these fine sailors for hosting us today, and to you all in the press for giving us the opportunity to underscore the importance of our relationship.