Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with Javad Zarif in Brussels

Check against delivery It is a pleasure for me to officially welcome Foreign Minister Zarif here in Brussels for his official visit to the European Union. We have had a chance of not only meeting very often, also recently, and to see each other here in Brussels – but that was always in the framework of the negotiations on the JCPOA [The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]. This is his first official bilateral visit to the European Union and this is also somehow the result of the fact that we were very successful on the negotiations on the nuclear agreement and the implementation day. I already had several occasions but I would like to reiterate it formally here and congratulate the Minister personally as well as Iran for an excellent work that was done in coordination and cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]  and the 3+3 and obviously we will continue to work on that. We will have tonight a bilateral conversation on first of all the EU-Iran bilateral relations. We have been working in this month to re-launch these bilateral relations. I was glad to visit the Minister and being received by the President Rouhani already in July and, as you might know already, here in the [European] Commission, I have started since some months already the preparation for a comprehensive visit from the [European] Commission to Teheran. I am not in the position of announcing a date tonight but spring, I would say, is a reasonably time to visit Teheran together with other Vice-Presidents of the [European] Commission and Commissioners to explore all different sectors...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the ‘Supporting Syria and the Region’ conference

Thank you, I would like to thank all those humanitarian workers who are making the difference every single day. And I believe if we are here today it is because we feel we share a responsibility and a duty. I would say a duty. A duty to focus today and tomorrow – when the conference will be over – on the people of Syria. We see the numbers, we talk of geopolitics, but we often forget the names, the faces of the persons whose lives are at stake. And let me say that sometimes, we Europeans, do that. If we focus on them, each and every one of them then, maybe, it will be a bit easier to help a little bit to make the right things, to take the right decisions. And we all have difficult decisions to make, in order to be consistent and honour our responsibilities on both tracks we have in front of us: the humanitarian one – and I will come to that – and the fragile, difficult, very difficult but still existent political process, built with patience and courage in Vienna, in New York, in Geneva, and next week in Munich. Let me also say very clearly, as I see him sitting here, that mentioning the name of Staffan de Mistura and thanking him is not enough. We need to empower him and create the conditions for his work to succeed. This is our responsibility. And let me also say very clearly that those who still believe that there can be a military solution to this war should wake up, should simply wake...

Times of hope and change for Colombia. Speech at the European Parliament

Grazie presidente, These are very important times for Colombia, and for once, this is a place in the world where we have signs of hope and change – and I am glad you have decided to organise this debate on the peace process. This can be the year when we have good news, after a armed conflict that has lasted for over half a century. 220,000 people have died. Over 6 million have been forcibly displaced. Countless others were kidnapped, have disappeared or have been victims of violence. The first peace negotiations were held more than thirty years ago. Today, in Havana, we finally see the chance of a break-through. Let me say that this opportunity – an opportunity of good news, like the one we had in Vienna days ago – cannot be missed. Personally, I had followed the Colombian peace process even before becoming the Union’s High Representative. I was in Bogota as an Italian minister first, and since November 2014, I have supported – on behalf of the EU – my friend President Juan Manuel Santos’ courageous efforts. Over this year our relationship with Bogota has grown stronger in so many ways, from the Visa waiver agreement to Colombia’s engagement in our mission Atalanta. A few months ago I decided to appoint Mr. Eamon Gilmore as my Special Envoy for the peace process, to demonstrate the EU’s active commitment. I was particularly glad that this decision was taken with the full support of President Santos. Eamon Gilmore’s direct involvement in the peace process in Northern Ireland and his experience as a statesman made him an ideal...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini on arrival to the European Council

Check against delivery. We talked and we will talk about migration, but let me start with something that today gives us a smile at least.  Finally. The agreement in Skhirat, the Libyan political agreement was just signed. That is good news. So let me start with that which is also linked to migration, to counter-terrorism, with all the things we have on the agenda. Let me say that the signature that just took place in Skhirat few moments ago is, first of all, the result of a long, difficult diplomatic process. First of all of the Libyans themselves and let me congratulate them, first and foremost. And let me say to all the Libyans that are not at the signing today that this process has to stay open, inclusive and I hope, I wish that all Libyan parties, all Libyan representatives can join in the near future to make this a good starting point for the country that has something to be proud of today. But, again, it is a starting point. The problems will not be solved from a day to another, but it is a good starting point. And the European Union is ready to support: to support Libya, to support the Libyan people in these difficult times. Let me also say that today I will stay in the [European] Council only for a very short time, because I am flying to New York where, tomorrow morning, we will have a meeting of the Syria talks together with my colleagues in the International [Syria] Support Group. Also there, I hope we will have good news, also related...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini following the EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina Stabilisation and Association Council

Check against delivery. Let me start by saying that this first ever Stabilisation and Association Council between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina was going to be in itself a positive thing for this very same fact – that it takes place. But let me also say sincerely that this was a very positive meeting also in substance. An extremely good one that allows us to not only be satisfied with the work done over this year, but also to look forward to the next steps of this common work. So, very positive news, a very positive meeting and a very positive element on a way that we have defined together and that we are following together with very good results, I would say. The meeting is already in itself, as I said, a result of a commitment by the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the political leadership to move ahead with reforms and on the European Union path – first of all, for the benefit of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also a product of the hard work of many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the EU Member States and here in Brussels. I would like to thank all our respective teams for the excellent and hard work they have done over the year and in particular in preparation of this meeting. Exactly one year ago, we had a joint vision on how to re-launch Bosnia and Herzegovina’s reforms and the European Union path. We had Council conclusions in the European Union adopting a new vision on how to engage with Bosnia...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the Informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation

Check against delivery Thank you. Let me start by apologising for the delay and thanking the Luxembourg Presidency for organising and hosting this informal meeting of development ministers that comes at a crucial time. We started yesterday with the closing of the European Year for Development with a major public outreach. I believe this is particularly important because finally today, for different reasons, the European public opinion realises that development is the real investment in stability, security and peace. Also for us. Not only for our friends in the rest of the world. We then had a session yesterday evening on COP21 and the link between policies related to development and climate change. We were connected with our French colleague from Paris, so that we exchanged views on the last hours of negotiations on the COP21. Also because climate change is one of the major issues that is always raised by our partners from all over the world. It is the major cause not only of national disasters, but also shortages in economic development, job opportunities and instabilities around the world, so it is very deeply connected with our work on development. This morning, we started with an exchange with CONCORD, the NGOs network at the European level on development, to start working on the main topic of the meeting today: the implementation of the Agenda 2030 that was just adopted in September in New York by all Heads of State and Government -the new SDGs, our Sustainable and Development Goals. The European Union was the main actor for achieving this result of the common universal adoption of these...