Back from Iran and South-East Asia

Back from Iran and South-East Asia

I write after coming back from a visit to Asia, touching down in Teheran and then in Manila.

In Iran I attended the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani’s second term, in my capacity as chair of the Joint Commission overlooking and guaranteeing the full implementation of the deal on Iran’s nuclear program. It was an opportunity to talk again to Rouhani, to Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and to the Supreme Leader’s foreign policy advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, in a moment when it is essential that all parties restate their determination to fully implement the deal (here is the press release on my visit to Iran).

This is what I also discussed with the Foreign Ministers of three countries that signed the Iran deal two years ago, who were in Manila this week for the ASEAN Regional Forum: Rex Tillerson for the United States, Sergei Lavrov for the Russian Federation, and Wang Yi for China. With them, as well as with Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, we also discussed our bilateral ties, and our common engagement on some of today’s international priorities, from Syria to the Middle East, from Libya to Ukraine. Here is the press release.

With them and with more Asian partners – starting with the Republic of Korea’s Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha – we discussed the situation with North Korea and a common response to avoid a dangerous escalation. Here is the press release.

In Manila I also chaired the ministerial meeting between the European Union and ASEAN, in the fortieth anniversary of our relations (here is my speech at the anniversary’s celebrations, here the opening session of our ministerial). Together we agreed on the shared initiatives we will push forward over the coming years (this is the Plan of Action we adopted), and we confirmed our commitment to implement the Paris agreement on climate change (here is our joint statement).

Last but not least, my visit to Manila was the opportunity for bilateral meetings with our partners from South-East Asia and the Pacific: from the Foreign Minister of the Philippines Alan Peter Cayetano, to Retno Marsudi of Indonesia, Don Pramudwinai of Thailand, Pham Binh Minh of Vietnam, and Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore. With Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, I signed a framework agreement for even closer cooperation between the European Union and Australia (here is what I said at the signing ceremony).