After the European Council. Working to protect civilians in Aleppo

After the European Council. Working to protect civilians in Aleppo

I write after an important European Council, in difficult hours of constant contacts to try and protect civilians in Aleppo – and in the rest of Syria. At the Council we discussed about Aleppo, our humanitarian aid, the work we are doing with the United Nations to start the evacuation of civilians in Aleppo and elsewhere. But we also discussed our diplomatic work to lay the ground for a political solution in Syria, allowing for a transition and for the reconstruction of the country. I updated the Heads of State and government on the work done, on the humanitarian and political level, and we discussed together the next steps. Here is what I told the journalists, here the Council Conclusions. At the Council we also talked about migration. I presented the work we have done through our “migration compacts” with five African countries: I explained the results we have already achieved and the commitments that still have to be put in practice, with our African partners and with the International Organisation for Migration. Yesterday we also signed a 100 million plan for joint projects with IOM, and a few hours before the Council I welcomed to Brussels the President on Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou. Together we have signed agreements for 500 million euros in new European investments, to support a crucial country for the stability of our region: we are investing in development, in education (especially for girls), in good jobs and in security. Here is our press conference, here the one with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. Yesterday I also presented to the Council the package of measures I have prepared to strengthen European cooperation on security and defence. Security...

“Federica Mogherini, Top EU Diplomat, Says Bloc Is Prepared for Trump”. Interview with the Wall Street Journal

Interview by Laurence Norman and Julian E. Barnes. Read on the WSJ website The European Union is prepared for a more deal-oriented relationship with the U.S. once President-elect Donald Trump takes office, the bloc’s chief diplomat said Wednesday, adding that approach won’t prevent cooperation on a broad range of issues, including the Iranian nuclear deal. “We are ready for a transactional way of working….one more based on an analysis of where our interests coincide,” Federica Mogherini said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Brussels. “I believe that going through the list of global conflicts and regional issues, we would come out with a very long list of things where we have an interest in either a division of labor or a common approach.” The bloc’s foreign-policy chief suggested a new trans-Atlantic relationship could have upsides for the EU, playing down the prospect that Mr. Trump’s interest in warmer ties with Russia would necessarily counter Europe’s interests. Indeed, she said a more independent EU might line up with Russia against any efforts on the Trump administration’s part to scuttle the Iran accord, shake up Middle East policy, or reduce the role of the United Nations. Senior European officials have openly worried about the possible impact of the Trump administration’s foreign policy on Europe. They have expressed concerns not only about his stance toward Russia, but also that he will demand a higher price for underwriting the region’s security and will be less committed to working with the EU to press for democracy and the rule of law in Europe’s neighborhood. However, Ms. Mogherini pointed to a range...