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French president Macron calls for united European energy policy
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes a guest at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday (Oct 6) called for a united European energy policy in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Anadolu Agency reported.

"We need to coordinate our activities to push down energy prices. That is what we're trying to do in the European Union. We've had very interesting discussions on this," Macron said in a joint press conference with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Moldovan President Maia Sandu after the European Political Community meeting in the Czech capital Prague.

"There are a number of European countries, which are energy producers, gas producers -- Norway and Azerbaijan," he said, adding that these were "very important" in diversifying Europe's energy sources and reducing its dependence on "external powers which do not share our values."

Macron also said protection of common infrastructure, such as pipelines, were discussed during the meeting, referring to recent leakages in the Nord Stream pipelines.

The French president also vowed to continue supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Italy could start being almost totally independent of Russian gas imports by the second half of 2023 (Photo: Pixabay)

For his part, Fiala said that 44 leaders of European partners in Prague discussed peace, stability, migration, energy, security and economy.

Fiala said: "I hope that today's discussion will be followed by mutual actions."

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For her part, Sandu said: "We are united in our commitment to help Ukraine uphold its sovereignty by the efforts needed to strengthen European security in the mid and long term."

Energy security and affordability was another major item on the meeting's agenda, she said, adding: "We should not allow the energy crisis to undermine our democracies."

The first meeting of the European Political Community was held in Prague on Thursday.

The community, set up after French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal in May, brought together the leaders of EU member states and 17 other European countries -- Türkiye, the UK, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Moldova, and Georgia.

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According to an EU statement, it aims to foster political dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and strengthen security, stability, and prosperity on the European continent.

The statement added: "This platform for political coordination does not replace any existing organization, structure or process and does not aim to create new ones at this stage."

Source: aa