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Minister Lajčák at the Meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Minister Lajčák at the Meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council

17.2.2020 | Aktivity ministra | SR a EÚ | Slovensko a Európska únia |

The current affairs in Libya, an evaluation of relations between the EU and Africa, a meeting of the EU foreign affairs ministers with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the European Endowment for Democracy, and a speech delivered at the donors’ conference for Albania – such was the agenda of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák, at the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, on Monday (February 17, 2020) in Brussels.

 

In the case of Libya, Miroslav Lajčák emphasized that this North African country cannot be viewed as a remote region. “The distance between the European coast and Libya is comparable to that from Bratislava to Poprad; this is also why we have to do everything that is necessary for the stabilization of this country,“ the minister noted after the Council meeting.

 

The ministers agreed that the EU should contribute to the implementation of the results of the Berlin Conference on Libya, specifically by means of a new mission in the Mediterranean region, the main task of which will be the implementation of the arms embargo, and also by means of offering general support for the UN peacekeeping process.

 

As for the relations between the EU and Africa, it is important, according to Minister Lajčák, to change the approach to that of partnership in many areas including migration, which should be part of our dialogue with the countries of Africa. Also, despite objective problems on this continent, we have to see opportunities: “I highlighted the need to focus on building a safe future Africa; in our common strategy, the emphasis should be placed on the support of access to education and job creation,“ he added. The discussion of ministers was part of the preparations for a Joint Africa-EU Strategy that will culminate at the EU-African Union Summit in October of this year.

 

At the end of the meeting, the EU foreign affairs ministers met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The partners assessed the options for the enhancement of mutual relations prior to the upcoming EU-India Summit (13 March 2020), which should bring a new impulse to the strategic partnership with India.

 

After the conclusion of the Council meeting, Minister Lajčák signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the MZVEZ and the European Endowment Fund (EED). The goal of this document is to lay the foundations of cooperation with the EED for the exchange of information and experience in the area of development aid. The EED primarily focuses on the support of civil society in the EU neighbourhood.

 

Before leaving for Bucharest, the chief Slovak diplomat delivered his speech at the conference “Together for Albania,” which was organised by the EU and international partners. The main goal of the conference was to help this Balkan country in the aftermath of last year’s earthquake which afflicted 200 thousand people in total. “Solidarity with Albania is a duty of all of us, and only via a partnership with several participating members, will we be able to help this country with a speedy reconstruction,” concluded Miroslav Lajčák. He further said that Slovakia will contribute with the amount of 250 thousand euros in total for the renovation of schools which were damaged by the earthquake.

 

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