Before I travel to Iran and South-East Asia

Before I travel to Iran and South-East Asia

It has been yet another intense week, before I head again to Iran, for the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani (here is the press release), and then to Manila, for a meeting of the European Union and Asia and to take part in the ASEAN Regional Forum. It will be an opportunity to discuss with our Asian and international partners the situation in the Korean peninsula – here is our statement in reaction to the latest North Korean test, last Friday. On the other side of the world, today’s vote in Venezuela risks to further escalate tensions in the country. Here is my declaration on behalf of the 28 EU members. Getting closer to home: this week, in Brussels, we took an important decision. Last Tuesday we extended the mandate for Operation Sophia, which for two years has been fighting human traffickers and saving lives in the Mediterranean. We decided to expand the operation’s tasks, with a better training of the Libyan coastguard. Here is the Council’s decision. On Monday and Tuesday, we gathered in Brussels the Association Council between the European Union and Egypt, for the first time since the beginning of the revolts in the Arab world. Here is the press conference with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. In the same days we also held a High Level Political Dialogue with Turkey: here is the final press conference with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Europe Minister Omer Celik. Egypt and Turkey are to crucial partners to tackle the main crises in the Middle East and North Africa: together we mostly discussed the war in Syria, the tensions in Jerusalem, the Gulf crisis – also in light...

Remarks following the signature of the Financing Agreement with Ms Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt

Check against delivery! Let me say a few words. Thank you very much: first of all because my voice today is very low, but also because I will have to run to the Arab League for an important EU-League of Arab States’ Ministerial we have today. It is a particularly sad time for our region: attacks in Berlin yesterday; the very sad episode of the killing of the Russian ambassador [Andrei Karlov] yesterday in Ankara and just a few days ago another attack, this time in Jordan and one week ago here in Cairo. This tells us that we are jointly facing a very difficult and challenging time for our common region and this is the kind of cooperation that we like to bring in the region and for the people. I would like to thank my friend, the Minister [of International Cooperation of Egypt, Sahar Nasr] for an excellent cooperation in particular on these two projects we signed today. One in support – and I know, even though I do not understand Arabic, that you described the projects at length – but especially the fact that we managed to work together to promote job creation for young people in a country that is made of young people and where young people must find their place in life and in jobs, with good quality jobs and a future and also a present. And also a project to finance meals for children in school, especially the most vulnerable children, especially the young girls who are sometimes the first ones to pay when a family is facing a difficulty back home....