A reliable partner, from Latin America to the Far East

A reliable partner, from Latin America to the Far East

I write at the end of a long week of meetings: they testified not only our strong global ties and our constant commitment to solve the most difficult crises, but also the role recognised to the European Union as a reliable partner. This is because of the “European way” to be a global actor: we always choose cooperation and multilateralism, on all issues from security to diplomacy.

The European Union has accompanied and will continue to accompany the peace process in Colombia. I talked about it with the Nobel Peace Prize, President Juan Manuel Santos. After his speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, we met again in Brussels to discuss the difficult path that led to peace in Colombia – now a model to solve other conflicts. With courage and patience, Santos negotiated a deal that led to disarmament by the FARC and will bring long-term benefits to all the people of Colombia. Here is my conversation with Santos.

And the European Union keeps supporting the negotiations led by the United Nations on Syria: this week I met again with the representatives of the Syrian opposition, press release here.

The same goes for Libya. On Tuesday, in Paris, I took part in the meeting organised by Emmanuel Macron to support Libya’s stabilisation. The international community is backing the work of the United Nations: they give strength to the negotiations and represent a guarantee for all sides, in Libya just like anywhere else. I talked about this meeting at the European Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, here is the video.

This is the value of multilateralism and cooperation. And for us this is the pillar of global peace and security – and the main path towards them.

Our work on peace and security has disarmament and non-proliferation at its core. So the European Union is determined to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran and supports the international efforts towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

I talked about it, during the week, with the Foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, and of the Republic of Korea, Kang Kyung-wha.

And with China’s State Councillor Wang Yi, who came to Brussels for the “strategic dialogue” between China and the European Union. We discussed all the main international dossiers, from Iran to the Middle East, from Korea to Afghanistan. But also human rights. And our commercial and economic ties.

The European Union believes that international trade must be both free and fair, and international rules must be respected. We do not want trade wars with anyone, but we are also determined to protect our investment and our economies. I talked about this at the press conference with Wang. And here is an op-ed I wrote on security cooperation with Asia, something we discussed on Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council.

At the meeting of European Foreign Ministers we discussed how to protect our European interest, including on security. On our agenda were Iran, Gaza, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here is the press conference.

It is also our interest to help find a long overdue solution to conflicts in the Balkans. On Monday morning, on the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council, we met with Skopje’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov: a deal between Skopje and Athens on the name issue is getting close, and it would be good news for our entire continent. This is what I told journalists before the meeting with Dimitrov.

It is our European interest to deepen and consolidate ties with our Eastern Partners, such as Belarus. On Thursday I met with Foreign Minister Vladmir Makei, here is the press release.

Finally, this was an intense and important week for Italy. I thank Paolo Gentiloni and all his government’s minister for the huge work we did together in the last years. Buon lavoro to Giuseppe Conte and the new government.