BRUSSELS, July 13 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday welcomed Slovenia's active engagement in the Western Balkans during his visit to Ljubljana, according to a press release issued by NATO headquarters.
Describing Slovenia as "a valued ally", Stoltenberg stressed that "Slovenia plays an important role in bringing the region closer to the rest of Europe and the transatlantic family."
He thanked Slovenia for its significant contribution to NATO's operations in Koso____nd Afghanistan. He also welcomed the availability of Slovenian helicopters to NATO's pool of deployable forces.
At a joint press conference with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar, Stoltenberg said that the security environment has fundamentally changed and that in response, the Alliance i_______menting the biggest reinforcement of its collective defence since the end of the Cold War.
"But I welcome the announcement by the Slovenian government that you will stop the cuts and gradually increase defence investment," he sai________>
The leaders discussed challenges to allied security from the east and the south, and NATO's adaptation to face them.
Stoltenberg visited the Slovenian Mountain Warfare Centre in Poljce in northern Slovenia. "For all NATO Allies, but especially those who do not have the benefit of their own mountains, this centre will be an essential part of their training, to help them deal with cold and snow and the ever-changing weather," he sai________>