From South-East Asia to Africa, for peace in Mozambique

From South-East Asia to Africa, for peace in Mozambique

I write at the end of a ten-day trip that led me to South-East Asia and Mozambique, for the signature of a peace agreement ending decades of war. On August 1st I arrived to Thailand, to take part – for the fifth time in five years – to the meeting between the European Union and the organisation of South-East Asian countries (ASEAN) and to the Regional Forum organised by ASEAN. In these five years the European Union and ASEAN have cooperated more intensely than ever before – on our common security, on the great global crises, on free and fair trade, on climate change. Here are my remarks at the meeting between EU and ASEAN. ASEAN’s Regional Forum was the opportunity to meet partners from all around the world: on top of the Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, I met with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, U Kyaw Tin of Myanmar, Prak Sokhonn of Cambodia, Wang Yi of China, Taro Kono of Japan, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India, Kang Kyung-wha of the Republic of Korea, Winston Peters of New Zealand, and Chrystia Freeland of Canada. From Thailand to Vietnam. With Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, we concluded two agreements for Vietnam’s participation in our civilian and military missions and for cooperation on peacekeeping – here is the press conference. In Hanoi I also met the Parliament’s Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and a group of students from the Erasmus Mundus programme – who are Europe’s best ambassadors in the world (video here). Then to Mozambique, for a...
Back from the Horn of Africa. Now in Italy to vote

Back from the Horn of Africa. Now in Italy to vote

I write at the end of a week I have spent mostly in the Horn of Africa. It is a crucial area for our region’s and Europe’s stability – just think that 20 per cent of European trade with the world goes through the Strait of Aden. It is also a region that is living a moment of great change: on the one hand, the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the transition in Sudan; on the other, the growing rivalry among regional powers, which are competing also for the control of the Horn of Africa’s ports and waters. I begun my visit in Mogadishu, Somalia. I met first with Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and Foreign Minister Ahmed Issa Awad (here is what I told journalists after the meetings). Then I visited the headquarters of the two European missions in Somalia, which are training the Somali security forces: it is a vital contribution to the security of the Somali people and of the region, but also to Europe’s security. From Somalia to Kenya, one of the African continent’s economic engines and a crucial partner for Europe and the United Nations. There I met with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Foreign Minister Monica Juma (press conference here) and Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i. In Nairobi I also inaugurated the new European Union’s embassy, the largest in Africa and the second in the world (here is my speech), and I met a group of young people and civil society representatives (video). Final stop in Djibuti, the strategic hub connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. I met with President Ismail Omar Guelleh...