Remarks following the signature of the Financing Agreement with Ms Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt

Check against delivery! Let me say a few words. Thank you very much: first of all because my voice today is very low, but also because I will have to run to the Arab League for an important EU-League of Arab States’ Ministerial we have today. It is a particularly sad time for our region: attacks in Berlin yesterday; the very sad episode of the killing of the Russian ambassador [Andrei Karlov] yesterday in Ankara and just a few days ago another attack, this time in Jordan and one week ago here in Cairo. This tells us that we are jointly facing a very difficult and challenging time for our common region and this is the kind of cooperation that we like to bring in the region and for the people. I would like to thank my friend, the Minister [of International Cooperation of Egypt, Sahar Nasr] for an excellent cooperation in particular on these two projects we signed today. One in support – and I know, even though I do not understand Arabic, that you described the projects at length – but especially the fact that we managed to work together to promote job creation for young people in a country that is made of young people and where young people must find their place in life and in jobs, with good quality jobs and a future and also a present. And also a project to finance meals for children in school, especially the most vulnerable children, especially the young girls who are sometimes the first ones to pay when a family is facing a difficulty back home....

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the joint press point with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the United Nations for Yemen

Check against delivery Thank you. Let me say how glad I am of this meeting, of this visit of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The European Union and the United Nations work very well hand-in-hand on many different crisis and this is not exceptional, on the contrary. It is an evident confirmation of the fact that we share visions, strategies and daily work on a daily basis. I would like to thank in this occasion the UN Special Envoy, Mr Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed for his work, but also our Head of Delegation to Yemen who has been working in an extraordinary way on this crisis over these difficult years. This is a perfectly timed visit at a very important moment. We believe that we have good reasons for hope ahead of the announced ceasefire as from the 10th of April and the resumption of peace talks on the 18th of April in Kuwait. Still we need to work to make this happens and this was the main issue we discussed today with the Special Envoy. Our meeting today has given us the opportunity to have an in-depth exchange on the current situation and the perspectives for Yemen in the short and in the medium terms. As I have repeated on several occasions, the only sustainable solution to the conflict in Yemen is a political solution. So let me thank here in public as I have done in private, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed for the relentless efforts he has made to help restart this negotiations process and all our support to this efforts. On...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez, in La Havana

On the end of the PDCA negotiations I am here to celebrate a historic step in our relations. Cuba and the European Union have concluded their negotiations for a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA). The PDCA will mark the beginning of a new phase of the bilateral relations. This contractual arrangement is a landmark demonstration of the improved mutual trust and understanding between us. It creates a clear framework for intensified political dialogue, and a platform for developing joint action and cooperation on global matters in multinational fora. The PDCA will also generate new opportunities for bilateral cooperation, both technical and financial and policy dialogues in many sectors, and to boost economic cooperation and exchanges between Cuba and the EU. The end of negotiations and upcoming signature of the Agreement mark the end of the EU’s 1996 Common Position as the Union’s instrument defining its external relations with Cuba. This unilateral policy had already envisaged the perspective of a contractual arrangement and will now be superseded by the PDCA. I will propose a Council decision to repeal it formally, in parallel to the processes leading to the signature of the agreement. Both Cuba and the EU will now work, with their respective stakeholders and through their corresponding internal processes to ensure a swift signature and ratification of the agreement. We are excited about the prospect of turning the PDCA into reality and achieve its objectives: enhancing EU-Cuba relations, promoting dialogue and cooperation to foster sustainable development, democracy and human rights, accompanying the process of “updating” the Cuban economy and society and finding common solutions to global challenges. On...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with Susana Malcorra, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Argentina

Check against delivery! Molte grazie Susana, Lasciatemi dire una parola in italiano perché è veramente un piacere essere in un paese in cui so che parlando la mia lingua, la maggior parte dei cittadini argentini può capirla. La Unión Europea tiene un interés muy serio por las relaciones con Argentina. Queremos reanudar los lazos de nuestra relación. Es por este motivo que estoy de visita aquí hoy – and it is really a great pleasure to be welcomed by you, Susana. I was joking entering  the room that maybe it is the first time that I listen to you speaking in Spanish. We know each other well and it is really a pleasure to be able to continue working  together in this very important work that you have started for your country together with the President and the rest of the Government. En la Unión Europea miramos con buenos ojos las reformas del gobierno y pensamos que estas medidas son esenciales para aumentar la inversión en  la economía, para la creación de empleo y la reintroducción y el acceso al sistema financiero mundial. Ahora, podemos profundizar las relaciones entre la Unión Europea y la Argentina. Compartimos valores democráticos  y lazos sociales, culturales y económicos que son profundos. Puedo asegurarles que vamos a renovar nuestra relación con velocidad y resolución. Tenemos que ver nuestras prioridades comunes que son el comercio, el crecimiento y la creación de empleo, inversiones con el Banco Europeo de Inversiones, ciencia y tecnología, agricultura, cambio de clima, la competitividad global, el desarrollo, la educación y coordinarse bien para desafíos globales dentro del G20. I will switch...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini upon arrival at the meeting of EU heads of state or government with Turkey

Check against delivery! We have today an important point on the agenda: making sure that all that has been agreed with Turkey is implemented, related to the Joint Action Plan and the refugee crisis, and in particular the need to make it sustainable in the immediate term and in the long run – the protection of the refugees and the management of the flow, with the disruption of the network of traffickers. This is why, let me remind you once again, the European Union is allocating 3€ billion – not to the government of Turkey, but to projects to support refugees and their lives. Our relation with Turkey is a complex one and a complete one, as Turkey is in itself a complex country. We have several different issues on the table and we discuss with all of the country. I was glad this morning to meet Mr Selahattin Demirtaş, opposition leader, to discuss also with him the perspectives of the relationship between Turkey and the European Union. We are working together on the Syrian War, trying to put an end to the 5 year old conflict there – this is a top priority for the European Union. We are working together also with Turkey as a candidate country and here we have internal developments we are following very closely from the European Union’s side. There is the need to restart the Kurdish peace process. The European Union recognises that the PKK is a terrorist organisation, but there is the need to re-engage – from the Turkish authority’s side – with the Kurdish political representatives, the ones that express...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me start by thanking Azerbaijan for hosting this very important meeting, and President Aliyev and the participating countries for attending. The value which we in the EU attach to this initiative of the Southern Gas Corridor is evident: both Maroš and I are here to take part in this meeting. The Southern Gas Corridor is an essential element in the EU’s Energy Security Strategy, and energy diplomacy is a fundamental part of our work on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. For the first time last July I chaired a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers where we adopted a set of conclusions and an Action Plan on energy diplomacy, in cooperation with Maroš, a result of a more coordinated work on external action. We agreed that the EU’s foreign policy should give particular priority to those partners and initiatives which are crucial to further diversify our energy sources. The Southern Gas Corridor and the Caspian region are clearly part of our key priorities. So I come here with a well-defined mandate: we strongly support the Southern Gas Corridor, and we are determined – and me personally – to do our part to ensure that it is completed on time. The Southern Gas Corridor is more than energy diversification and EU energy security for us. It is also about enlarging and deepening political, economic and social ties with a number of partners in a wider region that can contribute to its implementation: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Albania, of course the EU Members States linked directly with it – Greece, Italy and Bulgaria – and hopefully others from...