Kiska: It’s Our Moral Duty to Think about Solidarity in Europe

Slovak President Andrej Kiska (left) and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella at a meeting in Rome on Thursday (stock photo by TASR)

Rome, September 29 (TASR-correspondent) – Italy’s border is our border and a refugee that comes to Italy is our refugee as well, said Slovak President Andrej Kiska after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Senate Chairman Pietro Grasso in Rome on Thursday.

Kiska said that Italy is not just Slovakia’s partner but also a friend, a country we share a lot with and one that feels the migration crisis on a daily basis. Kiska and Mattarella talked about how can the crisis be faced and what Slovakia can do to help.

“We have to stand firmly … when it comes to the migration crisis. We have to give assurances to EU citizens that we can keep things under control and that the EU isn’t just about trade but also about solidarity,” noted Kiska after meeting Grasso.

Kiska stressed that if there was a crisis in Ukraine due to which hundreds of thousands of people would flee to Slovakia, we would turn to the EU to ask for help and solidarity.

“We have to perceive the situation in countries that are directly feeling the crisis in the same way. It’s our moral obligation – the moral obligation of a successful country – to think of people that are fleeing death, but also in terms of solidarity in Europe and the EU,” declared Kiska.

Both presidents have concurred that the EU will be able to cope with this problem. “We have to go forward, to be united and to work hard,” added Kiska.

An example of successful cooperation is the EU Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) Sophia, whose seat Kiska visited on Wednesday. It’s a project where 25 countries have joined to protect the waters of the Mediterranean Sea from people smugglers. “I’m glad that Slovakia will be joining too,” said Kiska.

“We, Slovakia, are an incredibly successful country and we should show our modern human face and solidarity with countries and show humanity to other people,” added Kiska.