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Minister Jan Lipavský spoke at the ministerial forum in Paris on the Indo-Pacific

On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, J. Lipavský attended the EU Ministerial Forum in Paris for cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific. He spoke in a panel on security and defence issues and on the margins of the conference met with his Asian colleagues. In his speech, he pointed out that the Czech Republic plans to intensify cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners in selected areas during its EU presidency.

After the initial joint meeting, the conference was divided into three thematic blocks: defence and security issues, global challenges including climate change and connectivity. Minister J. Lipavský made a speech at the first panel on security topics:

"The Czech Republic will tak advantage of its Presidency, among other goals, to strengthen EU-Indo-Pacific cooperation in the field of cyber security, supply chain security and space. The frequency of cyber threats is rising in Europe. It is time for a common response. We support a free, fair, stable and open cyberspace.”

Minister J. Lipavský confirmed that the Czech Republic has a number of interests in the Indo-Pacific region and is therefore making every effort to implement the EU strategy towards the region. He and other ministers agreed on the need to build a free and secure Indo-Pacific. The topic was also the upcoming Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. For the Czech Presidency, the Indo-Pacific is one of the geographical priorities. The Czech Republic places emphasis mainly on cooperation in the field of cyber security, the environment and the use of space programmes.

The second round table focused on digital issues. The aim was to find out the needs of the Indo-Pacific and the possibilities for investment in infrastructure. Among other things, the EU activities, including the Indo-Pacific Strategy, were presented. Ministers agreed to promote cooperation in key sectors including 5G networks and standards for artificial intelligence.

The third round table discussed global challenges. At the panel, ministers discussed the region's vulnerability to climate change and health risks. They communicated possibilities for cooperation in the framework of environmental protection, biodiversity and ocean protection. In the health section, they mainly discussed strengthening the health independence of the countries of the region and developing new partnerships in the field of science, research and pharmaceutical production.

Minister J. Lipavský held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from selected Indo-Pacific countries. On the eve of the meeting, he met for a conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of India Jaishankar. Their discussion was about the possibility of deepening bilateral cooperation, including trade cooperation and strengthening political dialogue. The Indian minister promised to visit Prague in the near future. On the sidelines of the ministerial forum in Paris, he met with Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne. The minister also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Menteri Luar Negeri. They discussed bilateral cooperation, Indonesia's G20 presidency and the plans of the Czech presidency in the Indo-Pacific region. With Cambodian Minister P. Sokhonn, Minister Lipavský spoke on the subject of a possible EU-ASEAN summit in Brussels during the Czech presidency. With Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister J. Lipavský discussed the issue of the Czech Republic's participation in its capacity as the EU presidency at a security conference in Singapore and his possible visit to the country.