State Secretary Korčok receives the new head of Austrian diplomacy during her first trip abroad

State Secretary Korčok receives the new head of Austrian diplomacy during her first trip abroad

9.1.2018 |

State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs SR, Ivan Korčok, received the new Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Karin Kneissl, in the diplomacy premises today (9 January 2018). This was her very first trip abroad in her office as a minister following the appointment of the new Austrian government. 

During their discussion the counterparts appreciated the quality of neighbourly relations between the countries and especially highlighted the standard of mutual economic collaboration. “I am very pleased that Minister Kneissl picked Bratislava as the goal for her first visit. I perceive this as reiteration of the fact that our countries are interconnected not just through geographical proximity but also an array of shared priorities. Austria ranks among our leading economic partners and following the Netherlands is the second major investor in SR,” emphasized Korčok. 

The counterparts also underscored the importance of the future development of infrastructure inter-connections between Austria and Slovakia that bring primary benefit to our citizens. Regional collaboration, within the Slavkov/Austerlitz format and within V4-Austria cooperation, remains an important tool for deepening our ties. According to Korčok, “It is the discussion within our smaller regional formats that already in the past have many times demonstrated its significance as it promotes better mutual understanding and also understanding the interests and problems of the partners”.

Joint coordination has become so much more important because in the recent period we have been facing several common foreign policy challenges along with Austria. Next year SR will assume the OSCE Presidency that has been successfully ended by Austria in the recent days. Our collaboration within the European agenda has been even more intensive. In that regard, Slovakia performed its Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2016, and our Austrian partner, in contrast, is making preparations for its presidency in the 2nd half of 2018.

Besides the bilateral agenda, emphasis during the discussion was put also on timely European political issues including those related to the enlargement policy and developments in the migration agenda. “We have been continuously emphasizing that mandatory quotas must not be the only tool for addressing the migration crisis. I am glad that we are in accord on this very delicate issue with the Austrian minister. Close cooperation with countries of origin and consistent external border protection that is a prerequisite for proper operation of Schengen, are elemental,” noted Korčok in that regard.

After the deliberations with secretary Korčok, Kneissl met with the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs SR, Miroslav Lajčák, in his capacity as President of the 72nd UN General Assembly, and then she was received also by the President of SR, Andrej Kiska.