The United States expects the European Union to play a more active role in sorting out global problems, the new Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák, told the TASR newswire on February 7, after attending the 45th Munich Conference on Security. According to Lajčák, the new US administration chose the Munich conference as its “first address” in Europe. US Vice President Joe Biden gave his first speech in Europe, describing the foreign policy priorities of the new President Barack Obama.
“He (Biden) confirmed that it would be a policy significantly different from the former administration; it would be a policy focused on partnership with the EU,” explained Lajčák. “The United States wants to communicate with all its partners,” he said, adding that the US also wants to communicate with Russia. And, “even if they don't agree on all questions, they want to communicate with Iran and they want to solve problems through dialogue.”
Lajčák stressed for TASR that another dominant issue of the conference was the lesson learned from the recent gas crisis, when Slovakia was cut off from Russian natural gas supplies for nearly two weeks due to a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. “All of the countries came out weakened from this situation we endured in January. It weakened Russia, it weakened Ukraine as the transit country and it weakened the EU as well, since the situation showed that the EU didn't have any response mechanisms prepared,” Lajčák concluded. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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9. Feb 2009 at 14:00