Lipavský: Czechia has advantage that it does not have dark history in Africa

Czechia has a huge diplomatic advantage in Africa in that it does not have a dark history of colonialism in any African country, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said in Brussels on Saturday at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers about the EU's relations with Africa. He pointed out that the former Czechoslovakia helped a number of African countries during decolonisation, with many African leaders having studied at universities in Prague or Brno.

The Czech foreign minister also emphasised that if Europe did not find the right diplomatic tools to act in Africa, then it would not be able to influence developments for the better or help solve problems that lead to migration to Europe, saying that these were "sensitive issues". He added that military coups had taken place in several African countries over the last two years and that Russia was gaining power in Africa at the expense of Europe.

Outlining what the meeting would be about, Lipavský said that the primary discussion would not be about migration, but about "Europe's overall geostrategic approach". EU relations with Turkey and the situation in Ukraine are also on the agenda.

Author: Anna Fodor