Back from Libya. An intense week for NATO and the Balkans

Back from Libya. An intense week for NATO and the Balkans

I write after coming back from Libya, where we have just re-established a direct European Union’s presence: we have re-opened our Embassy and our mission to help Libyans control their borders. This is the result of years of common work with the Libyans and the United Nations: we have accompanied negotiations to end the crisis in the country, we have trained the Libyan coastguard through Operation Sophia, we have supported the Libyan people creating jobs and investing in education and healthcare, and we have freed thirty thousand migrants from detention centres in the country.

Yesterday in Tripoli I met with Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj and Foreign Minister Mohamed Taha Siala: we discussed the upcoming election and new European projects in the country. I met with the UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame and the representatives of all UN agencies in the capital, but also with our Embassy’s staff, our EUBAM mission, and Libyans who manage projects financed by the European Union. Here is a press release, here my words in front of cameras in Tripoli.

This week I also met with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri, the Union for the Mediterranean’s new Secretary General Nasser Kamel, and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah.

It was also the week of the NATO Summit in Brussels, where we agreed on the next steps in the common work we are doing for Europe’s security – the EU and NATO together (here is our new EU-NATO Joint Declaration). At the Summit we discussed Afghanistan – and I met again with President Ashraf Ghani, press release here – and our common work against the terrorists of Daesh (press release). On the sides of these discussion, I met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir.

The Summit was also the opportunity to host again US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: we talked Korea, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and the Sahel – more details here. With him and with Energy Secretary Rick Perry we discussed energy cooperation between the European Union and the US – here is our joint press release.

Korea was also at the centre of a phone call with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono – press release here.

On Monday we hosted in Brussels the European Union-Ukraine Summit, together with President Petro Poroshenko. During the week I met with Armenia’s new prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and with the Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov we agreed on the priorities for our common work in the years ahead (here are our updated priorities).

It was also an intense week in the Balkans’ path towards the European Union. On Tuesday I was in London for the Western Balkans’ Summit – this is what I told journalists there. During the week I chaired Association Councils with Bosnia and Herzegovina (press conference here) and with the future North Macedonia (press conference). Next Wednesday I will host a new meeting of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina – I announced it here.