Truss says to urge unity on energy security, migration at European summit-The Times

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Oct 6 (Reuters) – The British government will urge unity over energy security and migration at the first European Political Community (EPC) summit on Thursday, British Prime Minister Liz Truss said in an op-ed in The Times newspaper.

The summit of the European Political Community (EPC) in Prague will bring together the 27 leaders of the European Union with 17 leaders from the continent currently outside the club, including Britain, Turkey, Norway and Ukraine.

It comes as the new prime minister is facing challenges at home, having had to make a U-turn on Monday on some tax plans that helped spark turmoil in financial markets. She also takes over as the country is facing soaring energy bills and a cost-of-living crisis.

In her opinion piece for the Times, Truss encouraged European leaders to end their reliance on Russian energy supplies. The war in Ukraine has made clear just how dependent Europe is on Russian supplies.

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is hoping he can divide us in a scramble for energy supplies. We must show him that he is wrong,” Truss wrote.

Truss asked for help from France, Belgium and the Netherlands to guard against winter blackouts, saying Britain and its neighbours should commit to keeping the links through undersea cables and pipelines open during winter to keep “the lights on across the continent.”

The summit gives Britain an opportunity to shape a new European forum from the inside after Brexit, and could shift some of the spotlight away from financial and political turmoil at home.

Talking about the migration challenges that Britain is facing, Truss wrote, “we are proud of the way that we have opened our homes to 130,000 Ukrainian refugees. But we need a stronger response to the crime gangs that exploit desperate people.”

Britain will deepen its joint working with France, Netherlands and other countries along the migration route to step up collective response to “this trans-national tragedy,” she wrote.

The British government has been under pressure to deal with the rising number of people making dangerous journeys across the English Channel.

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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