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Minister Petříček held talks with new Polish Foreign Minister Rau on security and Belarus
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Minister Petříček held talks with new Polish Foreign Minister Rau on security and Belarus


Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček met with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau on Thursday, 1 October 2020. The main topics of discussion were security policy and transatlantic cooperation, the situation in Belarus, the coordination of measures during the second wave of the pandemic and relations with China.

"After the presidential election in Poland, Zbigniew Rau became Poland's new Minister of Foreign Affairs," Minister Petříček said. "We met several times during the EU ministerial meeting, but this is his first official visit to Prague. I believe that our cooperation will continue to be excellent going forward."

One of the main topics of the meeting was the current situation in Belarus. "Czechs and Poles have gone through what is happening in Belarus now," Petříček pointed out. "The footage from the streets reminds us of Národní třída in Prague, when we feared that another Russian intervention would come, as in 1968. The Belarusians have our full support and we both agreed that the inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko was illegitimate. We are ready to continue to support independent media and NGOs. I asked Minister Rau about the view of Poland, which is geographically even closer to the whole situation." He added that the European Council in Brussels will discuss the next steps, including sanctions, today and tomorrow.

The heads of Czech and Polish diplomacy also discussed deepening security cooperation within NATO and strengthening the defence of EU states. At the same time, Minister Petříček acquainted his Polish counterpart with the results of the second year of the Prague 5G Security Conference, which followed up on last year's conference with an exchange of specific solutions from individual states. To that end, the Czech Republic has made available the Prague 5G Repository, a shared virtual library into which individual states can submit their contributions regarding the security of 5G networks.

During the meeting and working lunch, the foreign ministers also discussed the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, relations with China and the expansion of its global ambitions, and more consistent cooperation in resolving the course and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministers want to call for the unification of measures within the EU and the coordinated action of all Member States. "It is not in our interest to close the borders as we did in the spring," Petříček said. "Minister Rau and I agreed on this point, and I think there is consensus across the EU."