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Pompeo says 5G declaration protects Slovenia against authoritarian threats

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BELGRADE (Reuters) - The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that by signing a 5G declaration on Thursday Slovenia has secured protection against “authoritarian threats” including China’s effort “to control people and information.”

“The tide is turning against the Chinese Communist Party in its efforts to restrict freedom for all of us,” Pompeo said in the town of Bled after a signing ceremony for the declaration on developing a secure 5G network.

Speaking to the press, Pompeo said U.S. President Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, who was born and raised in Slovenia, “had sent greetings.”

Last month Telekom Slovenia began to roll out its 5G network and expects to have one-third of the country covered by the end of the year.

Pompeo said another important topic in talks with Slovenian officials would be ensuring energy security by reducing the country’s dependence on Russia.

“We spoke about the enormous potential of next generation nuclear technology to deliver clean, reliable diversified energy that will help ensure political independence and economic prosperity for Slovenia and the entire region,” he said.

Slovenia is the only former Yugoslav republic to have a nuclear power plant.

Pompeo visited Slovenia as part of a European tour this week. He is due to travel to Vienna later in the day, before he visits Poland on Saturday.

Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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