At work on Venezuela, Iran and the future of Europe

At work on Venezuela, Iran and the future of Europe

I write at the end of a week that I spent in Latin America and the Balkans, at work on Venezuela and the future of Europe, but also on the nuclear deal with Iran. On Monday and Tuesday I was in Costa Rica, for the meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela. In a incredibly delicate moment for the country, marked by new violence, we confirmed that the only possible way out of the crisis is a peaceful and democratic solution. In our second day of work we welcomed the representatives on the Caribbean Community (Caricom), of Chile and the Holy See: we will continue to work with the rest of the international community to help restart a political process in the country. This is my speech opening the meeting, and here is the press conference.  During the week , together with the Contact Group, we also reacted to the arrest of Edgar Zambrano, vice-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly: here is our statement. The visit to Costa Rice was the opportunity to meet with President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Foreign Minister Manuel Ventura Robles. From Costa Rica to Albania, for the summit of the Brdo-Brijuni process – the Balkan regional forum organised by Croatia and Slovenia. On top of bilateral meetings with our Albanian guests – Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta – I also met with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, and with the Chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency Milorad Dodik. Here is the press conference with Edi Rama: I repeated that it is time to open negotiations for Albania’s accession to the European Union....
For a peaceful, secure and democratic Libya

For a peaceful, secure and democratic Libya

I write at the end of a week spent in Algeria, Sicily and Brussels. Last Monday I was in Algiers, where I met with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, and together with Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel we worked on how to contrast terrorism and on our cooperation on regional security – from Sahel to Libya. This is my speech at the beginning of our meeting and here is the final press conference. From Algeria to Sicily, for more work on Libya at the conference organised by the Italian government in Palermo. The UN envoy Ghassan Salamé is engaged in a difficult mediation among Libyan factions, to put an end to the transition, towards a truly inclusive democracy. In Palermo we worked to strengthen our political, economic and diplomatic support to Salamé’s action and to peace in Libya. Here is what I told journalists in Palermo, and here is an op-ed that I wrote (published in Italian on La Repubblica and in Arabic on Al Hayat). In Palermo I also met with Turkey’s vice-president Fuat Oktay (press release here), ahead of my visit to Turkey next week. In Ankara we will discuss the situation in the region and our bilateral relations, but also – as we always do – human rights: and on Friday we spoke up against the arrest of several academics and representatives of the Turkish civil society (press release here). Back to Brussels, I took part in a good discussion organised by the International Crisis Group on the European Union’s work as a force for peace (the video is here). Then, on Wednesday, I chaired the Association Council with Albania, together with Foreign Minister Ditmir...