Energy and migration on the agenda as Liz Truss meets European leaders in Prague

British prime minister expressed scepticism over summit while serving as foreign secretary

British Prime Minister Liz Truss is welcomed by Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala, in Prague. PA
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After days of trying to unite her government, British Prime Minister Liz Truss will call for unity from European leaders to “address the fundamental causes” of the challenges of energy and migration.

On Thursday, she will attend a summit of European leaders in Prague, with French President Emmanuel Macron among those she is expected to meet.

After a difficult Conservative Party conference dominated by internal division and backbench opposition to some of her key policies, Ms Truss travels to the Czech Republic for the meeting of the European Political Community.

As foreign secretary, she was a sceptic of the planned summit, so her decision to attend has caused some surprise.

She is expected to meet the French leader for a bilateral meeting after holding talks with him during a UN summit in New York last month.

Downing Street says Ms Truss’s talks with Mr Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will focus on migration and aim to secure progress on joint operations to disrupt people-trafficking gangs.

Ms Truss is also expected to join Czech leader Petr Fiala for a working lunch.

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No 10 added that the prime minister will also encourage countries to act quicker to end Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies in light of its invasion of Ukraine.

“Europe is facing its biggest crisis since the Second World War and we have faced it together with unity and resolve,” Ms Truss is expected to tell the opening plenary session in Prague.

“We must continue to stand firm — to ensure that Ukraine wins this war, but also to deal with the strategic challenges that it has exposed.”

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Ms Truss will seek to stress the UK’s role in European matters — including Ukraine — despite leaving the EU, Downing Street said.

“The threat was left to fester for far too long. Now, at last, we are tackling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s aggression head on,” the prime minister will say.

“And we should take the same approach with other challenges before us — including long-standing regional issues like energy and migration.

“Instead of the old approach which merely dealt with the symptoms, it’s time to address the fundamental causes.”

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Updated: October 06, 2022, 9:26 AM