I write at the end of a week spent in Algeria, Sicily and Brussels. Last Monday I was in Algiers, where I met with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, and together with Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel we worked on how to contrast terrorism and on our cooperation on regional security – from Sahel to Libya. This is my speech at the beginning of our meeting and here is the final press conference.
From Algeria to Sicily, for more work on Libya at the conference organised by the Italian government in Palermo. The UN envoy Ghassan Salamé is engaged in a difficult mediation among Libyan factions, to put an end to the transition, towards a truly inclusive democracy. In Palermo we worked to strengthen our political, economic and diplomatic support to Salamé’s action and to peace in Libya. Here is what I told journalists in Palermo, and here is an op-ed that I wrote (published in Italian on La Repubblica and in Arabic on Al Hayat).
In Palermo I also met with Turkey’s vice-president Fuat Oktay (press release here), ahead of my visit to Turkey next week. In Ankara we will discuss the situation in the region and our bilateral relations, but also – as we always do – human rights: and on Friday we spoke up against the arrest of several academics and representatives of the Turkish civil society (press release here).
Back to Brussels, I took part in a good discussion organised by the International Crisis Group on the European Union’s work as a force for peace (the video is here).
Then, on Wednesday, I chaired the Association Council with Albania, together with Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, to continue on Albania’s path towards membership of the European Union. Press conference here.
On Thursday we hosted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and several ministers for the South Africa-European Union summit – one hundred years after Nelson Mandela’s birth (I had spoken about the anniversary last week, here). Here is the joint statement we issued after the summit.
Finally, on Friday morning we worked to contrast the traffic of diamonds, which end up financing militia and criminal groups. As the European Union, we have chaired for one year the “Kimberley process”, which deals precisely with “blood diamonds” – here is my speech at the conference that concluded one year of work.