Korea, Syria, Libya: three meetings on the road to peace

I write on my way to Cairo: together with the Arab League, the African Union and the United Nations I will take part in a meeting of the Libya Quartet – which we prepared last Thursday in Brussels with UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame.

Last week was intense and important. First and foremost, because of the historic meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas: it was a sign that it is always possible to start walking on the road to peace, even after over sixty years of conflict, if one has the courage of dialogue and diplomacy. I wrote about this here. And here is the press release on my meeting last Wednesday with Japan’s Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno.

But it was also the week of the second Brussels Conference on the future of Syria, which I chaired together with the United Nations. In Brussels we mobilised over four billion dollars for 2018, to support Syrians inside and outside their country. And even more importantly, we worked to help the United Nations relaunch the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, and find a political solution to end the war. We gave voice to the Syrian civil society: they showed us that they can leave aside their differences – political, ethnic and social – to walk on the path towards peace and reconciliation. And we brought to the same table all the regional and international actors – from Saudi Arabia to Iran, from Turkey to Russia and the United States.

We decided to open the conference listening to the words of Farah, a Syrian girl who lives in a camp in Jordan and dreams to become a teacher. It is for her that we keep up our work and our commitment. Here is my speech opening the Conference, here is the press conference with Staffan de Mistura after our meeting with the Syrian civil society, here is the final declaration, and here is what I told journalists before and after the Conference.

Last week had started in Toronto, Canada, with the meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers: here is the press release on the decision I took with my colleague Chrystia Freeland, to co-host a meeting of all the world’s women Foreign Ministers.

And the week ended in Brussels with the NATO Ministerial meeting, which was also the opportunity for a first meeting with the new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In the last few days I have met with many important partners: in the margins of the Syria Conference I met with the Foreign Ministers of Iran Javad Zarif, of Jordan Ayman al Safadi, and of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. Then Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu together with the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation’s Secretary General Yusuf bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen and OIC Member States representatives, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo, the President of Venezuela’s Parliament and the leaders of the opposition.