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Minister Lipavský attended ministerial meetings during the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council
Photo: © MZV ČR / MFA CZ
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Minister Lipavský Attended Ministerial Meetings during the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council


On 1 to 3 February in Brussels, Czech diplomatic chief Jan Lipavský attended several ministerial meetings as part of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Minister Lipavský spoke at the 3rd Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum and the 24th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. The last day of the working visit was dedicated to the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, also known as Gymnich.

Deepening cooperation with democratic partners in the Indo-Pacific region is one of the priorities of the government's programme declaration and was supported by the adoption of the National Strategy for Cooperation with the Indo-Pacific, approved by the government in September 2022. Minister Lipavský thus addressed the ministerial forum with a speech on "Geopolitical and security challenges in the region", in which he mentioned the need for closer cooperation between the EU and the Indo-Pacific countries, not only on security and trade issues. "The security of the Indo-Pacific is closely interconnected and indivisible with ours. The debate at the Forum was driven by the need for closer cooperation to bring greater security to supply chains and greater resilience to future geopolitical threats. I stressed, among other things, the need to ease tensions in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait," added the Czech diplomatic chief.

The Forum's programme was followed by the 24th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, where the Czech delegation discussed the common interests of both groups and opportunities to strengthen cooperation between ASEAN countries and Czechia, especially in the areas of trade, the digital agenda and security cooperation. The Minister also had a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the meeting, namely with the Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam, and the Deputy Ministers of Australia and Japan.

On Saturday, 3 February, Minister Lipavský continued his work programme with an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Gymnich). This meeting is held regularly every six months and is always hosted by the country that currently holds the Presidency of the EU Council. The EU Member States opened the meeting with a debate on EU-Africa relations, focusing on the issue of establishing effective and mutually beneficial cooperation with African states in the context of global competition for influence, including the impact of Russian aggression against Ukraine. "Czechia can play a very important role in EU-Africa relations. Our history is not overshadowed by our colonial past and African states are therefore listening to us. We can thus effectively explain our positions to them, for example on the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its negative consequences for the international community," Lipavský said.

On the second item, the EU diplomatic chiefs discussed EU-Türkiye relations. Minister Lipavský supported the continuation of the dialogue with Türkiye as an important partner in a number of areas and an ally in NATO. In addition to foreign policy, there is also room for cooperation in the areas of trade and migration control. At the same time, the Minister stressed that human rights and the rule of law must remain an integral part of EU-Türkiye relations.


Ministr Lipavský se zúčastnil ministerských setkání pořádných během belgického předsednictví v Radě / Minister Lipavský attended ministerial meetings during the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council