Fico: EU Not Strong Enough to Engage Itself More; We Need UN

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Smer-SD chair Robert Fico (photo by TASR)

New York, December 19 (TASR-correspondent) – I find it important to have a strong UN, stated Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) after meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday (December 18).

“The European Union is not strong enough to engage itself more in some matters. The EU is basically not present in Ukraine. We have no influence on the situation in Syria,” said Fico, stressing the role of strong international organisations, such as the UN, in similar conflicts.

Fico and Guterres further discussed EU enlargement. “Both the secretary-general and I feel that the Balkans are starting to burn again,” said the Slovak premier, adding that it’s important to offer some countries in this region a perspective for their future membership in the EU, otherwise “nervousness will continue to rise” in the region.

Fico also told Guterres about a Slovakia-sponsored project aimed at limiting migration flows, which is being coordinated with some other countries. “We have to continue to do projects outside the EU and shift the migration issue into these third countries,” said the Slovak prime minister, adding that Slovakia is ready to support similar reasonable projects within the UN as well.

At the UN headquarters Fico also met Slovaks working within the organisation. “It’s a great pleasure for me to see Slovak officials to the right and left of the UN secretary-general,” said Fico.

Various Slovak diplomats hold top UN posts: Miroslav Lajcak is the UN General Assembly President, Miroslav Jenca is the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Olga Algayerova is the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe and Jan Kubis is the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq.