At the UN General Assembly: Iran, Syria, Israel and Palestine

At the UN General Assembly: Iran, Syria, Israel and Palestine

Yesterday I wrote about my week at the UN General Assembly in New York. Today I’d like to say more about the work done to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, to restart peace negotiations for Syria, and to keep alive and relaunch the two-State solution for Israel and Palestine. Saving Iran deal, for our common security In New York I gathered the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran, to take note once again that Iran is respecting its commitments, as certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Together we are working on a mechanism that would let our firms continue working in Iran. I talked about it at the press conference after our meeting (here), with Fareed Zakaria at the Bloomberg Global Forum, and with Christiane Amanpour on CNN. The deal with Iran is working, and multilateral negotiations are a necessary path also to solve the Korean issue: this is what I said at the meeting on the nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Our contribution to help restart the Syria talks in Geneva The war in Syria can only end with an agreement among Syrians, negotiated in the framework provided by the United Nations. In New York we worked to give new impetus to the talks led by Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy, and Staffan was our guest at the European Union’s Foreign Ministers meeting – I talked about it with journalists, here. Then we gathered ministers from over fifty countries – from the United States to Russia, from Turkey and Iran to the Arab world – to discuss how to support the UN work. And...
In Vienna, with our eyes on the Balkans, the Middle East and Iran

In Vienna, with our eyes on the Balkans, the Middle East and Iran

I write after coming back from Austria, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, where I chaired the informal meetings of European Foreign and Defence Ministers. We were in Vienna, the city where three years ago – after years of negotiations – we finalised the nuclear deal with Iran. There could be no better place to start a year, which we will dedicate to a great extent to protecting and strengthening the system of multilateral institutions. Deals like the one with Iran contribute to Europe’s security, and investing in this kind of “effective multilateralism” is the only way to truly defend the European citizens’ interests. Austria has decided to dedicate its semester of EU Presidency precisely to effective multilateralism, but also to our work with the Balkans: we talked about both issues with Austrian President Alexander Van Der Bellen (the video is here). In Vienna we were joined by the Foreign Ministers of the European Union’s candidate countries. We discussed our common work to protect and promote multilateralism, a few weeks before the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York. And we also discussed our continent’s security, together with representatives from NATO and the United Nations. Cooperation with the Balkans was also discussed in the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers, together with NATO and the United Nations. With the Defence Ministers we worked on new common projects to strengthen the European Union’s defence: we will launch these projects thanks to the Permanent Structured Cooperation we created last year. With Defence and Foreign Ministers we discussed the future of Operation Sophia, our naval mission in the Mediterranean:...