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V 4 Presidents Meet for Presidential Summit in the High Tatras
May 10, 2012
The presidents of the Visegrad Group countries met at a regular presidential summit held 5-6 May 2012 in the High Tatras, Slovakia. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Czech President Václav Klaus and Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič held talks in the absence of the recently elected Hungarian President who was represented at the summit by the Hungarian Ambassador in the Slovak Republic.
According to the Slovak President, the key topic on the agenda was the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago. “We have particularly discussed Afghanistan and what will happen after 2014,” the President said. As part of this round of talks, they also discussed the issues of cooperation with Ukraine and Russia, “as well as cooperation within the European Union or the Alliance,” Ivan Gašparovič elaborated further on the content of their talks.
“Our neighbourly relations with Ukraine must be developed in keeping with what is beneficial for both. Ukraine and Russia are interesting countries for Europe in all respects. Equally so, the EU is also interesting for Russia and Ukraine in all aspects of good relations and cooperation,” Ivan Gašparovič said.
Discussions also focused on reinforcing regional identity of the Visegrad area by developing and facilitating cooperation in tourism and outward promotion of this region. “We have talked about several concrete issues. I have met with the Polish President in the past, when we were approached by citizens with certain projects for which they have so far not found understanding with national governments. We have committed ourselves to help them. In this respect, we have promised ourselves we will meet again. I appreciate it and I believe that people will appreciate it as well,” Ivan Gašparovič said.
The V4 Presidents also discussed infrastructure, transport and railway development. “Tourism industry does not involve recreation only, it is also an economic and political issue, and actions are necessary in this area,” the Slovak President added.
With respect to the much discussed participation in a conference of Central and Eastern European presidents scheduled to be held at Yalta, Ukraine, on 11-12 May, President Ivan Gašparovič said he would attend the meeting. “The V4 was incomplete; therefore we have not discussed any joint position. If the meeting is not cancelled, I personally will attend it because I am convinced that Slovakia, as Ukraine’s immediate neighbour, cannot ignore an open dialogue with Kiev,” he explained.
Informal part of the presidential summit programme involved a cable car trip to the Lomnický štít peak and tree planting near the Štrbské pleso lake. This act symbolises the necessary protection and recovery of the nature in the High Tatras, severely damaged by a devastating windstorm in 2004. All guests thanked for the excellent organisation of the summit and appreciated the positive, open and good atmosphere provided by their Slovak hosts.