Remarks of Federica Mogherini following her meeting with Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Vienna

I just had a bilateral meeting with Minister Zarif. I believe it is very important that tomorrow, here in Vienna, we will have all the relevant actors, both regionally and internationally, sitting around the same table trying to define a common space for the beginning of a political process to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. Let’s see if the work we have done in coordination with the US, with Russia, in these days, in these weeks, allows us to open this political space and create the possibility for a follow-up for the begining of a process that can lead us to a political transition in Syria. That is the purpose of the meetings. I will have other bilateral meetings tonight as we are preparing the meeting tomorrow. Q. Are you anticipating a compromise from sides that are sitting at the table tomorrow? I believe it is already a relevant commitment, for all the sides to be here tonight and tomorrow, to come together, to accept to sit together. This is already a very relevant starting point that only one week ago it was difficult to anticipate. So I would  invite everybody to take this as a very relevant step that I think we need to protect and, as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon indicated, show some flexibility and allow this political space to grow and to bring results in a process that, if tomorrow things go rather well, can open up and then be followed by other meetings. Already the fact that we are gathering in this format is really a very significant breakthrough. Thank...

Opening Statement by Federica Mogherini on the Situation in Israel and Palestine at the European Parliament plenary session

Mr President, Honourable Members, The last time we met here to discuss our common work on the Middle East peace process, on Israel and Palestine, it was only six weeks ago. We all agreed back then on something: the stalemate in the peace process, the lack of peace process, could only lead to more violence. And this is what we are seeing today. It has happened time and again, and it is happening in dramatic ways in these last days and weeks. The new wave of violence and terror is affecting innocents Israelis and Palestinians alike. There can be no excuse for terror: the incitement and the violence must end. The response of security forces needs to be proportionate and consistent regardless of who is the perpetrator. But it is mostly up to the political leaders on the two sides to get out of the current impasse and to show leadership. Most of all to show leadership, showing leadership is much more difficult when the situation gets more difficult, but it’s also when it’s more needed. Both leaderships have responsibility to contain the situation of violence and to promote calm. They have an interest in doing this for their own people and they have a general responsibility towards the region, and I would say towards the rest of the world, to make sure that the situation doesn’t inflame on the religious level and gets spread or across the globe. Last week I met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and just yesterday evening in Brussels I met with President Abbas to pass exactly the same message: you need to take leadership,...
Decision time for Israeli and Palestinian leaders

Decision time for Israeli and Palestinian leaders

Back in Strasbourg, to report to the European Parliament about my recent meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas. Both of them told me that they understand they must work together to solve this new crisis. It is now time for action. As I explained to the Parliament today, we cannot expect to de-escalate the current tensions and go back to business as usual. If we do, we will just move from this crisis to the next one. Every new cycle of violence will be worse than the previous one. And we truly risk to see the end of the Oslo framework and of the two-State solution. In practice, I asked Netanyahu and Abbas to receive the Quartet envoys in the coming days. We need to identify an “entry point” to restart talks. I mean real talks, meaningful ones. We don’t want to talk just for the sake of talking. We need concrete measures on the ground, to restore security and help the Palestinians take control of their lives. It is decision time, as we might be running out of...