Joint press release by Federica Mogherini and President of the African Union, Alpha Condé

The President of the African Union, Alpha Condé, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs/ Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, spoke on the phone on 18 November to discuss the terrible reports of inhumane treatment, notably of slavery, of migrants in Libya. Theyexpressed their total condemnation of these despicable acts and are firm in their resolve to ask for an immediate end to these criminal practices as well as to the trafficking of human beings. Both support demands made to the Libyan authorities to undertake swift action, to fight against the perpetrators of such crimes and to bring them to justice. The High Representative/ Vice-President Mogherini confirmed the EU’s commitment to continue its support tothe United Nations to ensure the respect of human rights, and to improve migrants’ living conditions on Libyan territory. Positive cooperation between African countries and the UN to allow for the safe return of their citizens stranded in Libya was also evoked. The EU’s support to the IOM has also allowed to assist more than 10,000migrants to voluntary return to their countries of origin. At the same time the EU’s financial support to theUNHCR’s resettlement programme for people in need of international protection from Libya has allowed for the initial resettlement of a number of people. The President of the AU and the High Representative also agreed on the need to pursue cooperation of the EU with African countries, including those of the G5 Sahel, as well as with the African Union to actively fight against the traffickers’ and smugglers’ networks. The African Union and the European Union...

Statement on the nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has carried out another nuclear test. This is once again a direct and unacceptable violation of the DPRK’s international obligations not to produce or test nuclear weapons, as determined by multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and represents a major provocation, a grave threat to regional and international security and a major challenge to the global non-proliferation regime. The European Union’s message is clear: the DPRK must abandon its nuclear, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and immediately cease all related activities. I will be in touch with partners in the course of the day; I will also meet tomorrow CTBT Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo, and IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano. And I will put the issue of the DPRK on the agenda of the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Tallinn next week. It is crucial that we in the European Union and the entire international community continue to deal with this in a united and coordinated manner. In this respect, we look forward to the UN Security Council addressing the matter and taking a firm and effective stand. The European Union will, as always, closely coordinate our action with its decisions. The DPRK must engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue, aimed at pursuing the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The EU is ready to support such a process in consultation with key partners. A de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula can only be achieved through...

Statement on the “Regularisation Law” adopted by the Israeli Knesset

The European Union condemns the recent adoption of the “Regularisation Law” by the Israeli Knesset on 6 February. This law crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalising under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights and effectively authorising the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in occupied territory. The law may provide for “legalising” numerous settlements and outposts previously considered as illegal even under Israeli law, which would be contrary to previous commitments by Israeli governments and illegal under international law. In passing this new law, the Israeli parliament has legislated on the legal status of land within occupied territory, which is an issue that remains beyond its jurisdiction. Should it be implemented, the law would further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict. The EU, also in line with recently adopted UN Security Council resolution 2334, considers Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal under international law and condemns the recent settlement announcements. As identified in the recommendations of the report by the Middle East Quartet, such settlements constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten the viability of a two-state solution. The EU urges the Israeli leadership to refrain from implementing the law and to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict, so as to reaffirm unequivocally through actions and policy its continued commitment to a two-state solution in order to rebuild mutual trust and create conditions for direct and meaningful...

Statement on the resolution of issues related to reopening of the Mitrovica Bridge

The constructive commitment we have seen in the last two meetings of the Dialogue in Brussels today brings results, to prove once again that only dialogue and political leadership can deliver and for the better. The most important issues related to the pedestrianisation of King Petar Street and the reopening of Mitrovica Bridge have been successfully resolved in Pristina: the implementation of what was agreed began immediately and works have effectively started today. This will contribute to the freedom of movement, people to people contacts and ultimately reconciliation, and will benefit all citizens of North and South Mitrovica. Leaders in the region are demonstrating courage and vision by taking down walls and focusing on building bridges. This is very much the spirit of the EU-facilitated Dialogue for normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. The opening of the revitalised Mitrovica Bridge and the completion of the pedestrianised King Petar Street in the nearest future will be an important achievement in the implementation of the agreements reached in the Dialogue. Progress on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is more than ever of utmost importance to preserve peace and stability between the two sides and in the region; it is also crucial for advancing of both sides towards European Union. The EU will continue its facilitation with strong engagement and I am looking forward to continuing the Dialogue with the leaders of both...

Statement ahead of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

We remember the genocide committed here, on European soil, just two generations ago. We remember the millions of Jews murdered in the Shoah, and the many other victims. As Shimon Peres, now sadly no longer with us, once said: ‘We are their eyes that remember. We are their voice that cries out.’ To those who would deny, this is our message. A message of collective responsibility. We have a responsibility to remember: a responsibility towards the victims, towards the survivors. A responsibility towards the future generations. And a responsibility towards Europe, and all European citizens. As a reaction to the World War and to Shoah, the founders of a united Europe decided to turn the page. A united Europe was the only way to ensure that “never again” such tragedies would happen inside our continent. Our founders rejected the vicious idea that one nation, one people, one ideology should enslave all others. They chose to build a Union of diversities. And it is a choice we are called to confirm each and every day. As we celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Rome Treaties, and over seventy years of peace inside our Union, we must pass the message to younger generations: a peaceful and diverse Europe cannot be taken for granted. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared, and European Jews have too often come under attack. Discriminations based on religion and on ethnicity are worryingly on the rise. Each new generation needs to commit again to the foundations of our peaceful coexistence. A peaceful and diverse Europe needs constant care, and it is everyone’s interest, and...

Statement following the high level meeting in the framework of the EU-facilitated Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina

Today, Presidents Tomislav Nikolić and Hashim Thaçi and Prime Ministers Isa Mustafa and Aleksandar Vučić joined me for a high level meeting of the Dialogue for normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. I would like to thank them for the open and very constructive meeting we had. They discussed the developments over the past days, agreed to leave the tensions behind and to focus on the work ahead. I underlined that progress in the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is essential: for Kosovo and Serbia, for the European Union itself, and the Western Balkans region as a whole. Advancing in the Dialogue is key for both sides in moving forward on their respective paths towards the European Union. I am encouraged by the leadership, vision, commitment and engagement shown by the political leaders today to address and solve issues of mutual concern through the Dialogue. Both sides agreed to take the Dialogue forward in a spirit of respect, cooperation and mutual understanding. Discussions between the sides will intensify over the next days. We decided to have a series of rounds of the high level Dialogue, starting from the coming days. I want to thank once more the Presidents and Prime Ministers for their openness and their strong commitment to the Dialogue. We will now take the agreed work forward constructively and concretely for the benefit of all people in Serbia and in Kosovo, advancing concretely on their European paths. I as a facilitator of the Dialogue will continue to be constantly personally involved in supporting the full implementation of today’s outcome, of agreements already reached and...