Poland supports local communities in fight against COVID-19 in Middle East: FM

Poland carries out humanitarian projects in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, which aim to support local communities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz during a video conference of the heads of diplomacy of European countries on Thursday.

The heads of diplomacy of Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Hungary and Italy also took part in the conference which was to the largest extent devoted to the southern neighbours of the EU.

Mr Czaputowicz expressed concern about the potential consequences of the pandemic for the countries of the southern neighbourhood of the EU. He positively evaluated current EU activity in supporting these countries under the "Team Europe" programme.

He also mentioned the Polish initiative to redirect some funds as part of a project to support increasing border controls in Libya, implemented together with the other countries of the Visegrad Group, to meet the country's needs related to combating coronavirus.

The head of Polish diplomacy also drew attention to the increased activity of "global actors" in the Middle East. He stressed the need to maintain the EU's involvement in the region, including the use of available financial instruments, in close connection with EU foreign policy priorities.

The EU's cooperation with the southern neighbourhood is implemented under the European Neighbourhood Policy and includes 10 countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.