Bratislava, September 2 (TASR) – Slovak President Zuzana Caputova met her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday to discuss the rule of law, the situation in Afghanistan, necessary reforms in connection with the Next Generation EU, as well as common priorities, including the fight against climate change, said Caputova at their joint press conference in Bratislava on Thursday.
According to Caputova, Steinmeier’s two-day visit to Slovakia is a symbolic proof of the strategic partnership and alliance between Slovakia and Germany. In this context, she also pointed to the strong economic ties between the two countries, as “more than 500 German companies, which employ almost 150,000 people, currently run businesses in Slovakia”.
The heads of states also talked about the European Union, foreign policy and common goals and activities in connection with the fight against climate change, added Caputova.
Steinmeier noted that they agreed that people who want to leave Afghanistan need help even after the US evacuation operation in Kabul ended. He added that both the EU and NATO must now ask themselves self-critical questions in order to avoid a crisis similar to that in Afghanistan in the future.
“We need to help, primarily the people who helped us during those 20 years [in Afghanistan],” said Caputova, noting that the Slovak Republic has already helped family members of people living in Slovakia or cooperating with the EU to leave Afghanistan. Caputova also called for the start of a “process of self-reflection” in NATO in connection with the departure of the allied troops from Afghanistan.
Steinmeier further noted that good cooperation between the Slovak Republic and Germany is “a very successful story that shouldn’t be taken for granted”. He praised the progress that Slovakia has made over the last few years on the rule of law, in particular through the establishment of the Supreme Administrative Court.