A wide range of issues were discussed at a summit of top leaders of the Visegrad Group (V4) of countries, consisting of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, that was held May 5-6 in the mountains of the High Tatras, the TASR newswire reported.
President Ivan Gašparovič of Slovakia, along with Czech head of state Václav Klaus, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Hungarian Ambassador to Slovakia Csaba Balogh met to talk about strengthening the region’s identity, the stances to be presented at the NATO summit in Chicago later in May, as well as the European Union’s policies towards the Eastern Partnership.
The presidents and ambassador agreed on boosting tourism ties by better presenting the region beyond its borders as well as discussing infrastructure, transport, and railway construction.
“Tourism is not just recreation, it is also a question of economics and policies; and activities must be carried out in this area,” said Gašparovič, as quoted by TASR.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski noted that the High Tatras are a great place for discussing tourism, as Poland, the Czech Republic and, if the weather is good, even Hungary can be seen from the mountain tops there.
The participants also discussed whether to attend a summit of presidents of central and eastern European countries that will take place in Yalta in Ukraine as there is controversy over the imprisonment of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. During the summit Gašparovič definitely confirmed that he plans to take part in the summit unless it is cancelled, saying that Slovakia, as Ukraine’s neighbour, cannot avoid an open dialogue with the country, TASR reported.
“In addition, we need to communicate about issues that have sprung up concerning Ukraine’s internal political developments,” stated Gašparovič, as quoted by TASR. “I believe that such a debate can yield benefits to us, the European Union as well as for Kiev.”
Bronislaw Komoworski also confirmed plans to attend the summit saying that Poland “shares with Slovakia the view that comes down to our being Ukraine’s immediate neighbour”.
“We cannot order Ukraine what to do, but we should go to Yalta in order to be able to recommend one thing or another or exert some pressure on them,” Komorowski stated, as quoted by TASR.
Czech President Václav Klaus reiterated his refusal to attend the summit in Ukraine but declined to comment on Gašparovič’s and Komorowski’s decisions, adding that Ukraine is not a neighbour to his country and the Czech Republic has a different standpoint and different interests.
“I have made it clear that I disapprove of politicians being jailed on purely political decisions,” stated Klaus, as quoted by TASR. “This is an absolutely inadmissible thing for me and I am not willing to come to terms with something like that.”
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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