From Africa to the Gulf. Then the new European Parliament’s first plenary

From Africa to the Gulf. Then the new European Parliament’s first plenary

I write after two weeks in Africa, the Gulf and in Strasbourg, for the first plenary of the new European Parliament. After my trip to Central Asia and the summit in Ukraine two weeks ago, I arrived in Burkina Faso for the fifth annual meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the five Sahel countries. These countries want to be stronger and more autonomous: it is our European interest to help build a stronger and more stable Sahel, so we will continue to support them both on economic development and on security issues. In Burkina I announced an extra 138 million euros in support to the G5 Sahel Joint military force – here is the press conference. The meeting with the G5 was also the opportunity for a bilateral visit to Burkina: there I met with President Roch Marc Kabore, Prime Minister Christophe Dabire and Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. But I also visited the French-Arab school El Bayane, which is financed by the European Union – because good education for children is the foundation of any strong country. From Burkina to Mali. On top of my meetings with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the government and Foreign Minister Tiébilé Dramé, I visited the central region of the country, where security is particularly fragile. There I met a group of local leaders and civil society representatives. It is up to the Malians to build a new era in the history of their country – an era of national dialogue and fight against terrorist – but we Europeans are ready to support them with all means at our disposal. Here is my press conference in Mali....
At work to save the nuclear deal with Iran

At work to save the nuclear deal with Iran

I write at the end of a week at work to save the nuclear deal with Iran. We discussed it last Monday in Luxembourg with the Foreign Ministers of the European Union, stressing that the deal must be preserved and inviting all parties to avoid new escalations (press conference here). The day after, I was in Washington DC, where Iran was at the centre of my talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And next Friday we will gather once again the Joint Commission that oversees the deal’s implementation – which is chaired by the European Union and composed of China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and Iran. Press release here. In Washington, with Pompeo, we also talked about the Balkans, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Libya, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. I also met with Jared Kushner, the President’s advisor on the Middle East, to discuss the situation in Israel and Palestine. Press release here. On Monday, at the Foreign and Defence Ministers’ meeting, I presented a report on the work done in the last three years to turn into action our Global Strategy on foreign and security policy. We confronted our proposals from three years ago with the results achieved – which in some fields have exceeded expectations, for instance on European defence, while in other areas there is still a lot to do. Here is the report, and here the new Council Conclusions to push the work on defence forward. At the Council we also dealt with the situation in Sudan and Moldova. Then with the Foreign Ministers with met Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman al Safadi. Jordan is one of our closest partners...