Statement on the passing away of Fidel Castro

Having learnt the news of the passing away of Comandante Fidel Castro, I would like first of all to express my most heartfelt condolences to his brother Raul, their family and friends. Fidel Castro was a man of determination and an historical figure. He passes away in times of great challenges and uncertainties. And of great changes in his country. With agreeing on the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement last spring, the European Union opened a new chapter in relations that have always been strong through decades with the Cuban people. The European Union will keep bringing forward its strong engagement with...

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Each time we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we acknowledge a failure of our societies. Women and girls are targeted – at home, in their communities or at their working place – all over the world. Our European Union makes no exception: on the contrary, we are witnessing a worrying trend that defies achievements we used to take for granted. Women endure enormous pain, and very often they have to carry this weight alone. But violence against women is violence against the entire society: the entire society has to react, starting with men. As policy-makers, we bear the greatest responsibility to protect women and raise awareness: the European Union has put forward targeted projects all around the world, including through the new EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020, and within our borders. For instance, we are supporting young women who say “no” to forced marriage, and we are working with families and local leaders who renounce female genital mutilation. We are helping to spread the message that violence against women is a sign of weakness for men, not of strength. Because this is first and foremost a cultural fight that involves all, with the media playing a very sensitive role. There can be no room for complacency. Each and every word should be chosen carefully when gender-based violence is concerned, and there should be no other word to describe the perpetrators than “criminals.” Criminals who deprive girls and women of their right to study, to work, to choose their partner or to leave him, criminals who deprive them from their...

Statement on Cyprus talks

I have spoken in the last hours to both Cypriot leaders Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı, who updated me on the state of play of the talks following their discussions in Mont Pèlerin. During the calls, I expressed the EU’s continuous support to the process under the auspices of the UN and Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide, and to the remarkable efforts of the two leaders. They both confirmed their determination to continue the process. This is a historic opportunity for the people of the island, for the region, for Europe; it cannot be...

Statement by Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn on the detention of several HDP Members, including the party’s co-chairs

The European Union is gravely concerned about the detention last night of several HDP Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on charges alleging support of terrorist activities. Among those detained are the party’s co-chairs Ms. Figen Yüksekdağ and Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş, both democratically elected leaders and our trusted and valued interlocutors. These developments add to the concerns we expressed after the immunity of more than 130 democratically elected Members of Parliament was lifted in May this year. They compromise parliamentary democracy in Turkey and exacerbate the already very tense situation in the South East of the country, for which there can only be a political solution. The EU considers actions against PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation also by the EU, as legitimate. At the same time the EU believes that such actions must never undermine the basic principles of democracy. We expect Turkey to safeguard its parliamentary democracy, including respect for human rights and the rule of law, and we are conveying these expectations directly to the Turkish authorities. Together with the Council of Europe, the EU will continue to follow and assess the situation very closely, in constant coordination with all Member...

Statement by Federica Mogherini, Neven Mimica, Christos Stylianides on the release of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria

After two and a half years away from their homes and families, 21 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, are finally released. Amongst all the troubles in the world today we celebrate. It is time to give these girls hope, life, a future. Yet we cannot forget all the others who remain abducted with their families and those who have suffered from the violence of Boko Haram. All efforts must continue to bring the perpetrators of this terrible act to account. We congratulate the government of Nigeria, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Switzerland, on the successful negotiations. We wish for the safe return of the girls to their families and their full reintegration into society. The EU remains ready to assist the Government of Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram, and in its humanitarian, development and reconstruction efforts. Violence has displaced 2,2 million people in North Eastern Nigeria. The EU provides humanitarian assistance to this vulnerable group, especially children, in the form of child protection, nutrition, psychosocial support, support to unaccompanied children and...

Statement by Federica Mogherini on her call with President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique

“I had today a very open and constructive phone call with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi. I expressed my condolences following the murder of peace negotiator Jeremias Pondeca and we both agreed that the peace process should by no means be affected by this crime. The immediate public reactions both by President Nyusi and Renamo leader Dhlakama give hope that there is now an opportunity to continue with the peace talks with sustained determination and firm commitment by all sides. Regular and fluid communication between both leaders would certainly help in moving the process forward. I expressed my hope that in the forthcoming round of peace talks starting as of next week, agreement can quickly be reached on the most pressing pending issues. I underlined that the EU remains fully committed to continue supporting the peace process in...