I write after coming back from Kuwait, where I brought the European Union’s support to the mediation carried on by the Emir, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to end the crisis between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, on one side, and Qatar on the other. In my meetings with the Emir, with Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah and the Emir’s emissary, Mohammad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, we agreed on the need to end the crisis through dialogue as soon as possible, and we discussed how the European Union can further support this goal. This is something I will also discuss tonight and tomorrow in Brussels with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri. In Kuwait I also talked about our common work to support the reconstruction of the Iraqi areas liberated from Daesh, about regional crises starting with Syria, and about our bilateral ties. Here is the press release on the visit.
The visit to Kuwait concluded a week that I had spent in Europe, in Brussels, Zagreb and Athens.
In Athens, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, we discussed the European Union’s support to Greece after the quake in Kos, but also how to relaunch the Cyprus peace talks, and our relations with Turkey, ahead of the EU-Turkey dialogue we will hold in Brussels this week. Here is the video of my meeting with Tsipras.
In Zabgreb – during my meetings with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burićand Defence Minister Damir Krstičević – we mostly dealt with the situation in the Balkans, to keep the region advancing on its path towards the European Union, and with European defence. Here is the press conference.
Last Monday in Brussels, at the Council with the 28 EU Foreign Ministers, we discussed first and foremost Libya and how to manage the migratory flows on the Central mediterranean route, renewing the mandate of our mission supporting Libyans to manage their borders. We were joined by the United Nations’ High Commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the director of the International Organisation for Migration, William Swing: with them we discussed our work to improve the living conditions of migrants inside Libya, to organise voluntary returns along the route, to save and protect human lives. And as European Commission we have just announced an extra 10 million euros to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Libya. Here is my doorstep with Grandi and Swing, here are the Council Conclusions on Libya, and here is my interview with Le Monde on the topic.
At the Foreign Affairs Council we also dealt with two of today’s most worrying crises: the tensions in North Korea (here are the Council Conclusions) and the situation in in Venezuela. I talked about this in the press conference at the end of the day, here.
These days we also welcomed to Brussels some important partners from our region. Last Monday I met with the new Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dragan Covic (press release here). On Tuesday I chaired the Association Council with Lebanon (here the press conference), and the Stabilisation and Association Council with Skopje (press conference here). I also met with Turkey’s Europe Minister, Omer Celik, whom I will meet again this week in Brussels with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Two more important things about last week.
First of all, Jerusalem: our contacts with partners in the region were constant, to avoid further tensions. Here is our statement, and here is the Quartet statement released together with the United Nations, the United States and Russia.
Finally, last Friday we gathered in Vienna the Joint Commission I coordinate to ensure the full implementation of the deal with Iran, with the representatives of the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and Iran. Here is the final statement.
I also talked about the deal on Iran’s nuclear program in Brussels, last Wednesday, when I had the honour to receive the annual Peace Prize of the German Land of Hessen, precisely for the work I did on Iran deal. Here is my speech at the award ceremony.
I have decided to donate the money of the prize to YaLa Young Leaders, a group of Israeli, Palestinian and Arab youth who keep hoping in peace between Israel and Palestine, and keep working to make it happen.