Rau was joined at the talks in Budapest by his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó, the Czech Republic's Jan Lipavsky, Slovak Deputy Foreign Minister Ingrid Brockova, and Turkey’s top diplomat Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, news agencies reported.
During the meeting on Tuesday, Rau was quoted as saying that “the Belarusian regime’s hybrid operation on the eastern border of Poland, which is also the eastern border of the European Union and NATO, would not have been possible without outside assistance."
Rau thanked fellow V4 countries for their solidarity, while also thanking Turkey for helping reduce the number of illegal migrants arriving in Belarus from other countries, the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement.
Support for Western Balkans, business ties
Other topics discussed in Budapest included "security challenges posed by the situation in Afghanistan," according to the Polish foreign ministry.
The meeting also focused on support for the European aspirations of the Western Balkan countries, with Rau announcing a plan by Poland to increase its development aid to the region next year.
Rau also voiced hope that the EU would soon open accession negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania, the Polish foreign ministry said.
In addition, the top diplomats "agreed on the considerable potential of economic cooperation between the V4 countries and Turkey," with the EU remaining Ankara’s biggest economic partner, according to the Polish foreign ministry.
Other areas for "mutually beneficial collaboration" include migration and security policy, it said.
Rau reiterated that Turkey was Poland’s key economic partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade at over EUR 6 billion last year despite the coronavirus pandemic. He also reaffirmed Warsaw’s support for Turkey’s "European orientation," the Polish foreign ministry said in its statement.
The Visegrad Group, or V4, is a regional cooperation platform that brings together Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Source: PAP, gov.pl