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Thursday, 10 May 2018

President: Visegrad Group must keep together to have influence

  |   Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Polish President Andrzej Duda welcomed Czech head of state Milos Zeman at the Presidential Palace Press conference of the presidents at the Presidential Palace Press conference of the presidents at the Presidential Palace Press conference of the presidents at the Presidential Palace Press conference of the presidents at the Presidential Palace President of the Czech Republic visits Poland President of the Czech Republic visits Poland President of the Czech Republic visits Poland President of the Czech Republic visits Poland President of the Czech Republic visits Poland President of the Czech Republic visits Poland President of the Czech Republic visits Poland

Poland's President Andrzej Duda on Thursday hosted Czech counterpart Milos Zeman and said that they agreed that Warsaw, Prague and the whole Visegrad Group (V4) must work together to have influence in other international assemblies, such as the European Union.

 

Speaking at a joint press conference, the Polish head of state said he had congratulated Zeman on his re-election and thanked him for choosing Poland for his second visit after his mandate was prolonged.

 

 

"This is a signal for us about how important the relations with our country are for Mr President," Andrzej Duda added, "and how important Poland, and working with Poland, is for the Czech Republic and Czech politics."

 

The Polish President also noted that "the Czech Republic is Poland's second biggest export destination after Germany," and bilateral trade "has exceeded EUR 20 billion for the first time."

 

"This extremely intensive economic exchange between our countries is a fact, and I hope that it will grow in the years to come," President Duda said, adding he hoped this cooperation would develop not only in the automotive industry but also in the military and defence sectors.


"We are in agreement that we must work as closely together as possible within the Visegrad community," Duda said, as only then, by presenting a united front, "will we be truly influential also in other assemblies, such as, for example, the European Union."


Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, which together make up the regional Visegrad Group (V4) should strive to achieve indivisible unity within the EU in order to promote shared interests, Czech President Milos Zeman said in Warsaw on Thursday.


Milos Zeman told reporters that he and Andrzej Duda discussed, among other issues, "the attempts to destroy unity in the Visegrad Group's views."
According to the Czech President, there are attempts to force upon the Visegrad Group "certain European Commission views that infringe upon the principle of responsibility for one's own decisions."


The Czech head of state also pointed out that during one of his first meetings with Andrzej Duda, he expressed his solidarity in rejecting "the European Commission's interference in Poland, in its internal matters."


This does not mean the EU idea should be negated, but rather that Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia should promote their regional interests in Brussels, he said, stressing in particular the migration crisis.


Asked whether the two countries will unite forces to reach a good EU budget for Poland and the Czech Republic, President Duda answered that they would surely do everything for the cohesion policy to continue.


President Zeman stressed that the EU allocated too little funding to migration and protection of the EU's external borders. He stressed that, for instance, Frontex had staff shortages to effectively face the problem.


The two heads of state also discussed economic and military cooperation.


"I told President Zeman that I count on cooperation in the Three Seas Initiative, a project aimed at developing the infrastructure in our part of Europe, between the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Adriatic," he said.


The Polish head of state added that they had also discussed gas links, including the Stork 2 pipeline, an element of the North-South Corridor. Other topics included electrical energy and water connections between the two countries.


President Zeman said he had invited President Duda to visit Prague. (PAP)

 

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