Practical contributions to peace

Practical contributions to peace

I write on my way to the United States – where I will speak about transatlantic relations at Harvard – in the wake of the sad day of President George H.W. Bush’s passing: here is what I said yesterday morning about him.

My week has started in Brussels with the meeting with this year’s two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Denis Mukwege, the Congolese doctor who has devoted his entire life to healing women who have suffered from sexual violence, and Nadia Murad, the Yazidi girl who has become a symbol of the resistance against Daesh. I had already met them in Strasbourg when they received the Sakharov prize; this time, we welcomed them to the EU Development ministers’ meeting, on the occasion of the international day for the elimination of violence against women. And we decided to mobilise five million euros more in support to their initiatives. Here is the press conference with Denis and Nadia.

On Wednesday I was in Geneva for the conference on peace in Afghanistan, organised by the United Nations. I put on the table five practical proposals on how the European union can support peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, to finally end an endless war. And I discussed these proposals with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. Here is my speech at the conference.

In Geneva I also met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (press release here), one day after I had met in Brussels with Vice-President Ali Akbar Salehi, who leads the Iranian atomic energy agency. With both of them I discussed the work we are doing to save the nuclear deal with Iran and to preserve its benefits for the people of Iran. With Zarif I also talked about Afghanistan, Syria and the current attempt to end the war in Yemen (here is the press release on Yemen).

On Thursday I was back to Brussels for two important meetings. First, the annual conference of the European Defence Agency, where we discussed artificial intelligence (video here), after I had met with IBM President Virginia Rometty. Then, at the European Parliament to prepare the Marrakesh conference that will discuss the Global Compact on migration – here is my speech.

During the week I also talked with Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, asking him to revoke the new tariffs imposed on goods coming from Serbia and Bosnia – press release here.

And these are the press releases on the situation in the Sea of Azov: my statement on behalf of the European Union and the one we published with the G7 Foreign Ministers.