I write at the end of a week I spent in Ethiopia, in Brussels and Munich – a week at work on Africa and with Africa, and on our common security.
The summit of heads of State and government of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, was the opportunity to discuss our common work on sustainable development, security and stability, the respect of democracy and human rights, and on a humane management of migration flows.
I discussed this first of all with the representative of Ethiopian institutions: I met with President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. Europe supports the internal reforms they have launched and these months’ dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea – which, after decades of conflict, is giving hope to an entire continent. I talked about this with journalists, here.
The European Union’s presence in Ethiopia is strong, including in support of those people who went back home after they had undertaken a difficult travel to seek a better future. I met some of them in a centre managed – with European support – by the International Organisation for Migration, together with Director General Antonio Vitorino. These young men and women – some of them are still children – are taking trainings and will receive a small financial help, to let them go back to school or start a new business. Here is the video.
I discussed the strategic relationship between Europe and African with the African Union’s President Moussa Faki, with the President of Burkina Faso, Rich Marc Kabore; the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archangel Touadera; the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi; the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo; the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania, Augustine Philip Mahiga; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Abdelkader Messahel. Press release here.
In Brussels, on Thursday, I discussed our cooperation with NATO together with the Defence Ministers of the Alliance. And our cooperation is now stronger than ever. Here is what I told journalists on our common work with NATO, on the work to end the war in Syria, and on North Macedonia’s first time at a NATO Ministerial.
On Friday, North Macedonia officially notified to the European Union its new name, as agreed with Greece in Prespa: and this story can be an example for all the Balkans. Here is my statement.
On Friday, still in Brussels, I also had the pleasure to host again the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to discuss our collaboration on Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, Korea, Ukraine and the Balkans. Here is the press release.
“Collaboration” is the key word for the European Union. I talked about this on Friday at the Munich Security Conference. In these years we have taken impressive steps forward on Europe’s common security and defence. But none of the challenges we face can be tackled through military means only: sustainable development, humanitarian aid, climate action, the defence of human rights, and at times even trade agreements – these are all investments in a truly sustainable security. Here is my speech.
In Munich I also met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, the Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj and the UN Special Envouy for Libya Ghassan Salame, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif, the Republic of Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.