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article imageUS, Slovenia to 'exclude untrusted vendors' from 5G

By AFP     Aug 13, 2020 in World

The US and Slovenia signed a declaration Thursday to "exclude untrusted vendors" from 5G networks as the Trump administration continues its campaign to persuade allies to shun Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a tour of central Europe, signed the declaration with his Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar.

While the statement did not mention Huawei directly, it commits Slovenia to "a thorough evaluation of providers and chains of distribution and a strict commitment to the rule of law".

In remarks to journalists afterwards Pompeo talked about the "threat" of "the Chinese Communist Party and its drive to control people and information and our economies".

"The tide is turning against the Chinese Communist party and its efforts to restrict freedom for all of us," he said.

Speaking alongside Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa on the shores of the scenic Lake Bled, Pompeo said the declaration will "benefit the people of this country and all of us who share information across complex network systems".

Jansa said the US is "the only power in Western civilisation capable of coping with this complex threat".

"Slovenia is ready to engage in those efforts to make them successful," Jansa added.

Jansa said relations with Russia and China had to be based on core Western values.

"We should take into consideration the strategic interest of our civilisation that has its foundations in security, freedom, the rule of law and democracy," Jansa said.

"These principles should be the starting point for seeking common positions between the EU and the US towards Russia and China," he added.

Separately in a statement, Huawei said that declarations of the kind signed on Thursday "will slow down the introduction of 5G technology and make it more expensive for users".

In addition, such agreements contradict the "EU's principle of a common approach in the cybersecurity field and, in fact, do not prevent... possible cyber crime", the statement carried by Slovenia's STA agency said.

Pompeo has already visited the Czech Republic as part of this trip and after Slovenia will continue on to Austria and Poland.

His visit to Slovenia -- birthplace of US First Lady Melania Trump -- is the first by a US Secretary of State since 2001.

Last month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reversed his decision to allow Huawei to roll out Britain's fast new data network and banned new 5G equipment purchases from January.

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