At the Paris initiative for peace in the Middle East

At the Paris initiative for peace in the Middle East

I write on my way back from Paris. Together with all Quartet members (the European Union, represented by me, the United Nations, the United States and Russia), the Arab countries and the international community we worked to rebuild the conditions for peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The French initiative has managed, among other things, to support the action of the Quartet – and in a few days time we will present a Report with recommendations on how to restart the negotiations.

Forgetting the Middle East conflict would be a huge mistake, as we also tackle the crises in Syria and Libya, and the terrorist threat. Relaunching the talks couldn’t be more urgent: if this doesn’t happen, the path opened in Oslo 25 years ago will be closed for good. The perspective of a two-State solution – with Israel and Palestine living side by side in security – is still the only option to finally bring about peace. (Here is my press conference after today’s meeting).

All European countries agree on the urgent need to stabilise the Middle East. We discussed it in depth during my visits to Bratislava, on Wednesday, and yesterday in Warsaw. Slovakia will take the rotating presidency of the Union in July: with my colleague Miro Lajčák we had a first exchange on the agenda of the coming six months and on the issues that will be on the table. (Here is my press conference with him, and my speech at the meeting of Slovak Ambassadors).

We are facing so many crises inside and outside our Union, to the South and to the East. As we try to address them, we must also work to prevent the next one. This will be central to the new Global Strategy for foreign and security policy: I will present it at the end of June, after an intense year of work in close cooperation with all Member States. Including Poland, where I was met with great interest about the work done so far. I discussed it with President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Beata Szydło, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Witold Waszczykowski, and of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz. During the visit, my second to the country since the beginning of my mandate, we also focused a lot on our relationship with Nato. Warsaw will host the Atlantic Alliance summit in July: it will be an opportunity to strengthen EU/Nato cooperation even further. (Here are the videos of my press conferences with Duda and Waszczykowski).