New York, Sept 24 (CTK special correspondent) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to meet representatives of the Visegrad Four countries, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, possibly before the October 17-18 European Summit, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told journalists today.
He added that he and Johnson agreed on the V4 meeting during a brief talk on Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. Climate Action Summit convoked by UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres.
“The British are our strategic partners and I am happy that he (Johnson) agreed to visit us in Prague,” Babiš (ANO) wrote on Twitter today, adding that he described the V4 as a strong group of countries that wish to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
Babiš said the meeting with the V4 representatives may take place before the October European summit.
“We will see, he (Johnson) has enough of his own problems to deal with,” Babiš added, referring to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, currently scheduled for October 31.
“I emphasised that Europe is not only (French President Emmanuel) Macron, (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and (European Commission President Jean-Claude) Juncker, but that the V4 is a powerful block,” Babiš said.
The Czech PM added that he thinks it is important for the V4 to get more involved in the Brexit issue.
“At the moment, it seems that Britain has a problem, but in the case of a hard Brexit, we all have a problem. We will certainly try to get more involved in the European Commission, to speak out more, and we will not leave it up to (EU Brexit negotiator Michel) Barnier only,” he added in reference to the upcoming European Summit.
At his meeting with Johnson, Babiš was accompanied by Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek (ANO).
“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson assessed the economic stability of the Czech Republic as ‘fantastic’. It is based on the lowest unemployment in Europe, GDP growth, low indebtedness, financial sector stability and a growing number of entrepreneurs,” Havlicek said.