I write at the end of a week when we have welcomed tens of ministers to Brussels, representing many of our closest partners.
We started on Monday with Libya, in a meeting with Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj and a session of our Foreign Affairs Council together with the UN Special Envoy for Libya, Ghassam Salame: we discussed how to stop the fighting in the country and relaunch the UN-led political negotiations. Here is what I told journalists on Monday morning, here is the press release on my meeting with Serraj, and here is the statement with the 28 EU Member States.
Libya was also one of the issues we discussed with the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the five Sahel countries – Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso – in a joint meeting on Tuesday with the European Union’s Foreign and Defence Ministers. We talked about how to strengthen the G5 Sahel joint military force, which is playing a crucial role in contrasting terrorism and organised crime in the region. Here is Tuesday’s press conference, where I talk about the Sahel. In the margins of the meeting, I met bilaterally with the ministers of all five countries.
On Monday we also received a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I had called for a meeting on the same day with the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the UK, to confirm our support to the nuclear deal with Iran: together we spelled out again the need to avoid an escalation of tensions and violence in the Gulf. Here is Monday’s press conference on Iran and Pompeo’s visit.
Transatlantic cooperation was also at the core of our discussion on Tuesday with NATO’s deputy secretary-general Rose Gottemoeller, during the meeting of European Defence ministers. With the ministers we then continued our work on the 34 cooperation projects that Member States have launched in the field of defence. Here is the press conference and the press release.
On Monday and Tuesday we also celebrated ten years of our Eastern Partnership – between the European Union and six countries from the east of our continent that are not part of the Union (Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan). It is a partnership that has made all these countries stronger, with practical benefits for their citizens and for all Europeans. Here is the statement that we agreed at our joint ministerial on Monday, and here is my speech at Tuesday’s conference.
On Thursday it was the European development ministers’ turn: at our meeting, we hosted the UN Special Envoy for youth Jayathma Wickramanayake. With her we talked about investment in jobs and education for young people, but also about how to open our institutions to their contribution.
Young people were also at the centre of our Association Council with Tunisia, on Friday. Here is the press conference after the meeting.
During the week we have kept working on Venezuela: with the International Contact Group we have sent a political mission to Caracas, for meetings at the highest level with all relevant interlocutors – press release here. And I also discussed Venezuela with Mike Pompeo during our meeting on Monday.