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Over 40 European leaders gather to discuss security, energy issues

More than 40 leaders from all over Europe are expected in Prague on Thursday to attend the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community.

More than 40 leaders from all over Europe are expected in Prague on Thursday to attend the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community.

The aim of the new forum is to improve cooperation between European countries beyond the borders of the European Union, like Britain, Turkey, and countries of the Western Balkans and Caucasus region.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is set to attend in person while President Volodymyr Zelensky is due to join by video.

As well as wider economic woes, leaders are to hold round table talks on climate change, the energy crisis, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The discussions will be followed by bilateral meetings.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss is to discuss migration with the leaders of France and the Netherlands, a statement from her Foreign Office said.

As representatives of both Armenia and Azerbaijan are expected to attend the meeting, diplomatic efforts are ongoing to facilitate a meeting between the two, an EU official told reporters in Brussels.

The two ex-Soviet republics have been in a stand-off for decades over control of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. In 2020, fighting flared up.

As recently as mid-September, an attack by Azerbaijan left more than 200 people dead on both sides.

On Friday, the 27 EU states will hold an informal summit in Prague.

The talks, which again are to be joined by Zelensky by video, are expected to focus on the EU’s support for Ukraine and the consequences of Russia’s war on the bloc’s economy and energy market.

Friday’s gathering is not expected to deliver concrete results, as it is viewed as preparation for another summit in Brussels later in October.

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