Before I travel to Iran and South-East Asia

Before I travel to Iran and South-East Asia

It has been yet another intense week, before I head again to Iran, for the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani (here is the press release), and then to Manila, for a meeting of the European Union and Asia and to take part in the ASEAN Regional Forum.

It will be an opportunity to discuss with our Asian and international partners the situation in the Korean peninsula – here is our statement in reaction to the latest North Korean test, last Friday.

On the other side of the world, today’s vote in Venezuela risks to further escalate tensions in the country. Here is my declaration on behalf of the 28 EU members.

Getting closer to home: this week, in Brussels, we took an important decision. Last Tuesday we extended the mandate for Operation Sophia, which for two years has been fighting human traffickers and saving lives in the Mediterranean. We decided to expand the operation’s tasks, with a better training of the Libyan coastguard. Here is the Council’s decision.

On Monday and Tuesday, we gathered in Brussels the Association Council between the European Union and Egypt, for the first time since the beginning of the revolts in the Arab world. Here is the press conference with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

In the same days we also held a High Level Political Dialogue with Turkey: here is the final press conference with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Europe Minister Omer Celik.

Egypt and Turkey are to crucial partners to tackle the main crises in the Middle East and North Africa: together we mostly discussed the war in Syria, the tensions in Jerusalem, the Gulf crisis – also in light of my visit to Kuwait – and the situation in Libya: with both Egypt and Turkey, I insisted on the need to accompany and facilitate dialogue between Fayez Serraj and Khalifa Haftar, to find a sustainable agreement that will lead the country towards national unity and a unified government for the whole of Libya. And on Libya, we have decided, as European Union, to finance a 46-million euro project to help the Libyans control their borders (here is the press release).

Finally, an important meeting: on Tuesday I met with Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty. I assured him that all human rights defenders can always count on the European Union’s support and protection, all around the world.