Back from Hamburg (with a thought on Italy)

Back from Hamburg (with a thought on Italy)

I write on my way back from Hamburg: on the occasion of the Ministerial meeting of OSCE (the Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe) I met with John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov to discuss the European Union’s initiative on the future of Syria, and the need to protect civilians, especially in Aleppo, granting access for humanitarian aid. Here is the press release on today’s meetings. Yesterday night I stopped in Berlin to hold the “Willy Brandt Lecture” at Humboldt University – here are the video and the text. And before that, I was in Brussels for the NATO Ministerial, which adopted the proposals I put forward together with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance. The European Council will discuss about them next week, together with the whole package I proposed to prop up the European defence dimension. Here is the video of my press conference with Jens). On Tuesday I also received John Kerry in Brussels, for a bilateral meeting and to sign together a military logistical assistance agreement between the European Union and the United States. Finally, on Monday I was in Dakar: I open with President Macky Sall of Senegal the Forum for peace and security in Africa, and worked with him on our migration compact. The work goes on, with my mind constantly on my country, Italy. I always thought – and I keep thinking – that the constitutional reform we voted on was good for the country: on Sunday night I was hoping for a different result. Today the transition – a tough but manageable transition – is in the hands of President Sergio Mattarella: we can be sure the process will be managed...

Federica Mogherini discusses Syria in the margins of OSCE Ministerial Council

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, held today a series of bilateral meetings in the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Hamburg. In separate meetings, the High Representative discussed with the US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov the situation in Syria and the need to protect civilians, particularly in Aleppo, and allow humanitarian assistance in these dramatic hours. They also exchanged views on the outreach the High Representative has started with the regional actors, in close coordination with the United Nations, on the reconstruction and the future political and institutional set up of Syria, linked to the beginning of the political transition. The conflict in eastern Ukraine was also on the agenda of the bilateral meetings Federica Mogherini had with Minister Lavrov and separately with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. The High Representative stressed the need for a full implementation of the Minsk agreements, by all parties, and the readiness of the European Union to increase its support for their...
Syria, Mozambique, Nigeria: the tenacity of hope

Syria, Mozambique, Nigeria: the tenacity of hope

It’s been a full week of work for Syria: constant work, although off camera. I was in touch with Staffan de Mistura, John Kerry, Sergey Lavrov, with the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir, of Iran, Javad Zarif, and of Turkey, Mevlut Çavusoglu. With two priorities: stopping the escalation to relaunch a political process, and allowing humanitarian access to Aleppo and all the besieged areas. Here is the  press release about these days’ work. Since the beginning of October the European Union has put forward a clear proposal for East Aleppo: let humanitarian aid in, let the sick and the wounded out. We must build the conditions to turn our proposal into reality: we will discuss about it on Monday with the Ministers of the Union, at the Foreign Affairs Council. Even in the toughest moments, we cannot afford to stop hoping and working for peace. This is the message we got from the Norwegian Nobel Committee, with the Peace Prize to President Santos. This is the message I got from President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, during the phone call we had yesterday: President Nyusi and the leader of Renamo have decided to continue their peace talks despite the killing of Jeremias Pondeca, one of the negotiators. And this is also the message we all get from the liberation of 21 of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The Nigerian government, the Red Cross and Switzerland have negotiated with patience for years. Our work doesn’t end here: our support to Nigeria will continue until all girls will be set free, until the whole country will be liberated, and all Nigerians will be able to go...

Restoring a political process and humanitarian aid delivery in Syria

In view of the continued escalation of the conflict in Syria, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, held a round of telephone conversations today and yesterday with the main international and regional actors. She spoke to the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir, of Iran, Javad Zarif, and of Turkey, Mevlut Çavusoglu. The High Representative discussed with her interlocutors the need to restore a political process involving key international and regional players, and the ways in which the European Union could facilitate and support this perspective, in coordination with the United Nations. She also discussed the humanitarian initiative launched by the EU to deliver emergency relief to Eastern Aleppo and other besieged areas in Syria and to allow the evacuation of urgent medical cases. The situation in Syria, and the European Union’s work on the humanitarian and on the political track will feature as a major point on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council taking place in Luxembourg on Monday, 17...
Between Boston and Bratislava

Between Boston and Bratislava

I write after coming back from the long United Nations General Assembly week in New York. Before heading to Brussels, though, I stopped by in Boston – where, hosted by John Kerry we had a long day of informal works together with the Foreign Minister of France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. It was an opportunity to find common ground on a number of issues on which we need to act jointly, from Libya to Ukraine. But first and foremost we discussed how to stop the escalation of the Syrian conflict. Here is our joint statement, and here is the one I issued together with the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Christos Stylianides. Tomorrow I’ll be in Bratislava, where I will chair the meeting of the 28 Defence Ministers of the European Union. I will present them with the options I have prepared over the last few weeks, after the presentation of our Global Strategy. The aim is to integrate further our work on Defence, and to make full use of the tools that the treaties provide to our Union: from deploying the Battlegroups to permanent structured cooperations, to supporting investments on research and technology. Tomorrow’s meeting will move forward the work we have already started, to adopt a European Defence Plan in November with the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs, and then in December at the summit of Heads of State and...