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V4 and Turkey: Shared Interest in Regular Dialogue

In Antalya, a coastal city in Turkey, upon the initiative of the Slovak presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4), a working meeting was held of foreign ministers of the V4 and Turkey to discuss opportunities for closer cooperation between the regional V4 platform and Turkey as an important regional player.

“Slovakia, as the V4 presiding country, is determined to continue engaging in dialogue with Turkey and to make it more profound because that is beneficial to both parties and, moreover, it also is a geopolitical necessity,” emphasized Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Turkey, according to the minister, is an important partner also for the issues of economic and energy cooperation. In this regard Minister Lajčák stressed the opportunities for cooperation between the V4 and Turkey in the area of transport of energy carriers in order to achieve a bigger diversification of energy sources in our region. “Diversification is one of the key factors ensuring energy security in Central Europe,” emphasized the minister.

Besides energy, the ministers also focused their discussions on opinion exchange about current developments in the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership countries, in Syria, the issue of Islamic radicalism and immigration. All these topics present a similarly strong challenge for the V4 just like for Turkey.

Turkey is also a candidate country that has been holding negotiations on eventual membership in the European Union. The Visegrad Group ministers supported Turkey’s integration ambitions and also underlined the need to meet the pre-accession criteria. In that regard, the ministers were in accord on the importance of mutual cooperation, based on common values and interests.

The V4 and Turkey held their meeting, on the eve of the NATO ministerial meeting, as a continuation of the successful and desired format of cooperation between the Visegrad Group and other partners. The last meeting of this kind was the ministerial meeting of the V4 and Germany in Bratislava in April and the next one is the deliberations of the V4 and six Eastern Partnership countries and other EU members scheduled to take place in Bratislava on May 15, 2015.

May 12, 2015

Source: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

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