A week travelling for Libya, Africa and Syria

A week travelling for Libya, Africa and Syria

Today I write from Washington, for my second visit since the new administration’s inauguration. Here I will meet again Vice-presidente Mike Pence, after his visit to the European institutions in Brussels, I will take part in the Anti-Daesh Coalition ministerial meeting, I will open Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Conference, and I will meet more members of the administration and Congressmen. I will write about all this in the coming days. The week that just ended was mostly dedicated to Africa, Libya and Syria. I flew to Washington straight from Cairo, where we held the first meeting of a Quartet for Libya: the European Union has set it up together with the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union. For the European Union, Libya is a priority – not only because of migration. Our political commitment aims first and foremost at supporting the Libyans as they work on a solution towards a peaceful and united country, in a process that is fully owned by Libyans themselves. The international community can and must accompany this process, preserving unity among regional and international actors. This is what we committed to doing together with the Arab Leagues Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the UN Envoy Martin Kobler and the African Union’s Representative Jakaya Kikwere. Here is the Quartet’s statement, here the video of our meeting with the press. We will meet again in a few weeks in Brussels, where the European Union will host the second meeting of the Quartet. Libya – but also and particularly our common work to strengthen the partnership between Europe and Africa – was at the core of my visit to Addis Ababa...
Through the eyes of Syrian children

Through the eyes of Syrian children

The eyes of the Syrian children I met in Lebanon, once again, have defined my week. They fled their cities, only the luckiest of them are still with their families. They left their friends and their homes behind, tore to the ground. Their souls have wounds that none of us can really understand or imagine – only those who are old enough to remember another war, on European soil. These children are now studying in Lebanon – others like them are in Jordan, in Turkey, in Europe – with the European Union’s constant support. Because they are children, before being refugees. And they will be young adults, when they will be refugees no more: they will have to rebuild Syria – physically, but also socially, economically and politically. Each school year or school day that they miss is a gift for those who want to recruit and enslave them to the logic of terror; it is a gift for those who don’t want peace and democracy in Syria, and don’t want Syria to rise again through peace and democracy. For this reason, during my visit to Lebanon this week, I donated the Demokratiepreis that I had received in Bonn a few months ago to a school for Syrian children – who are now refugees – in Bar Elias. I had visited the same school a year ago, on March 21st. That was the day before the terrorist attacks in Brussels. I cannot forget what I saw in their eyes, I could not forget it the day after, as I learnt about the attacks, and up until now: the fear and the pain of the war, and at...

Federica Mogherini meets UN Special Representative for Libya Martin Kobler

On 24 January 2017, the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met in Brussels with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Martin Kobler. Federica Mogherini and Martin Kobler exchanged views on the political and security situation in Libya, and on the regional initiatives to support a political, inclusive solution in the country. They discussed the perspectives of intensifying cooperation to support such a solution which should be to the benefit of all Libyans. In this respect, they discussed EU-UN cooperation also together with that of other regional actors with a view to overcoming the obstacles to finding a negotiated outcome to the many challenges that Libya faces. The HR/VP also updated the Special Representative on the EU’s comprehensive efforts to tackle the challenges of irregular migration along the Central Mediterranean Route, which focus on saving lives at sea and tackling traffickers and smugglers. She underlined the importance of assisting migrants, including with their protection, including by engaging with Libyan authorities and international organisations to improve the conditions of migrants inside Libya – and promoting migration governance in Libya, whilst tackling the root causes of migration. In this regard, the HR/VP Mogherini also updated the UN Special Representative Kobler on the training of the Libyan Coast Guard by EUNAVFOR MED Operation...
UN General Assembly, day 3: inspiration from Colombia, at work for Syria and Libya

UN General Assembly, day 3: inspiration from Colombia, at work for Syria and Libya

The United Nation’s General Assembly showcases a catalogue of the world’s dramas and its success stories. So, on the day of the official opening of the Assembly, I had the joy and the honour to receive from Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos a copy of the historic peace agreement with the FARC that he’ll sign next Monday in Cartagena, after 50 bloody years of conflict. The European Union has followed the negotiations during these years, and we will stand concretely on Colombia’s side during the implementation of the deal. The courage shown by Colombia should inspire the world: it can be hard and painful, but even the most terrible of conflicts can be solved if we resort to politics, not violence. (It’s also the theme of my video-message for the International Peace Day, here). This is the difficult path we are trying to follow on Syria: we have worked on it at the meeting of the International Syria Support Group in New York, and again in the evening at the informal meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers. The situation on the ground remains dramatic: the attack on a humanitarian convoy with the flag of the World Food Program was an unacceptable violation of international law, a barbaric attack that imperils the delivery of humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of starving Syrians (here is my joint statement with Christos Stylianides). Despite all difficulties, the truce agreed by Russia and the United States one week ago must be reinstalled and preserved. It is up to the US and Russia – as the Group’s co-chairs – to guarantee its respect, but it is also up to the...