From the Middle East peace process to Syria: cooperating with the Saudis

From the Middle East peace process to Syria: cooperating with the Saudis

It was a long and productive meeting the one I had earlier today with Adel bin Ahmed al Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Europe and Saudi Arabia share so many interests at the moment: our cooperation is crucial.

I have particularly appreciated our common visions on the Middle East peace process: the European Union believes Saudi Arabia has a key role to play, in particular in reviving the Arab Peace Initiative.

We also share a common approach on the need to put an end to the too long-lasting war in Syria, with enormous dramatic humanitarian consequences and also security consequences for the entire region. We have to finally find a way towards a Syrian-led transition: this is central to an effective fight against Da’esh, and I think it is the top priority on both of our agendas.

We discussed the reform process in Iraq, and the difficult process to install a national accord government in Libya. But of course we also focused on the deal we reached in Vienna with Iran. It is very important for me, personally, to pass the message that the agreement is strong and solid. It is first of all a nuclear non-proliferation agreement that will guarantee that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon for the next ten to fifteen years. The agreement has to be fully implemented, and I am travelling to Iran tomorrow exactly to start working on the implementation.

But the deal could also shape different relations in the whole Middle East, based on cooperation instead of confrontation. And we, as Europeans, will invest all our political capital to try and facilitate the change of paradigm to pass from confrontation to cooperation in this region.