One week, four continents

One week, four continents

I spent last week in four continents – travelling from Afghanistan to Latin America and back to Tunis and Brussels. I worked on areas of the world – near and far – that are a source of concern, but where we also see glimmers of hope: Central Asia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Libya and the Middle East. Central Asia was at the core of my talks with Pakistani leader, last Monday in Islamabad. The occasion for the trip was the “strategic dialogue” between the European Union and Pakistan, an essential country for Asia’s security. With President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shad Mehmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa we talked about our bilateral relations, but also – and most extensively – about regional peace and security: we discussed at length what Europe and Pakistan can do to accompany peace negotiations in Afghanistan (press release here), and the recent tensions between India and Pakistan. And more: after the terrorist attack against the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand, we agreed on the need for common work to stop the rise of Islamophobia. At the same time, we must work together against radicalisation and all forms of terrorism. Here is the press conference with Qureshi. Together with a group of Pakistani women from civil society organisations, I also discussed the crucial role of women and society in stabilisation and human growth. From Islamabad to Kabul, to support the perspective of peace through a political process between the Afghan government and the Taliban. It is an essential moment to end the war in Afghanistan – after President Ashraf...