Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg today received Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok for a personal meeting in Vienna, and is therefore continuing the series of bilateral cooperation talks with close partners within the European Union on current global challenges. The main topic of the meeting was the joint decisive action against terrorism. Foreign Minister Schallenberg thanked his counterpart Blok for the messages of condolence from high-ranking figures in the Netherlands following Monday’s terrorist attack. In such a situation it is good to have European and international friends and partners at your side.
The virus of terrorism is spreading at the speed of a thought, even faster than the coronavirus,
said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
We must be aware that none of us are safe from it. We can win this fight only if we work together. We must take hard, concrete action against terrorism in order to stop the flow of these nasty ideas – for our open society and together with all those who feel committed to this society and are at home in it,
stressed Alexander Schallenberg.
The Foreign Minister suggested closer cooperation on how to better deal with foreign terrorist fighters and potential threats.
The terrorists have an excellent network, we must have an even better network,
Austria and the Netherlands are partners at European level on issues such as budget and migration. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Schallenberg and his Dutch counterpart talked about the prospects of EU accession of the Western Balkan states, which have traditionally been of great concern to Austria. The “democratic drama” currently being experienced in Belarus was also on the agenda.
Europe must not allow a new Iron Curtain to be drawn around Belarus,
warned Schallenberg, who informed his Dutch counterpart of his recent contacts with representatives of Belarusian civil society. The EU’s challenging relations with Turkey and Russia were also on the agenda.
I keep pointing out that – as former German Foreign Minister Steinmeier has already said – there will be no lasting stability against Russia, only with Russia,
said Foreign Minister Schallenberg in the discussion with Blok.
This is precisely why we in the EU need a twin-track strategy for Russia: a hard edge where necessary, dialogue where possible.
With regard to the EU’s future relations with the USA, the Foreign Ministers agreed on the need to intensify the transatlantic dialogue.
We are united by a shared way of life and values. The despicable terrorist attack in Vienna earlier this week was a cruel reminder that this way of life has enemies. This needs to be defended,
said Foreign Minister Schallenberg with conviction.