On the events in Gaza after the US Embassy move to Jerusalem

#MiddleEast “We believe Jerusalem’s status has to be defined through negotiations and we believe the realistic outcome of that would and should be Jerusalem being the capital both of the state of Israel and of the state of Palestine” @FedericaMog on #MEPP pic.twitter.com/gzdtAgsu3K — European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) 15 maggio...

Speech at the Ministerial Conference on UNRWA

Check against delivery We are here in Rome to send two strong messages. Firstly, that the work of UNRWA is important and must be preserved. Second, to support this work concretely. We care, because it is a moral duty but also a self-interest. The situation in the Middle East is extremely volatile and we can’t afford even greater destabilisation. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is taking care of millions of people. Preserving and supporting UNRWA is not just a matter of humanity. It is also our strategic interest, for the sake of peace and security in the Middle East, and our own security. UNRWA is of crucial importance for at least three reasons: for the future of all Palestine refugees, for the viability of the two-state solution, for stability and security in the region. First: a sudden stop of UNRWA’s services in all fields of operation, not least in Gaza, would be incredibly dangerous. More than seven hundred schools would likely not open anymore after the summer break, and hospitals would be much less operational. Palestine refugees would probably lose their hope for the future. And when people lose hope, they often become an easy target for the propaganda of terrorist groups. Second: UNRWA is essential for Palestinian State building, and for the very perspective of a two-state solution. There can be no State without schools, hospitals and vocational training. Moreover, a just, agreed and realistic solution to the refugee question is one of the key elements for peace. And the two-state solution is still the only viable path towards...
A window of opportunity for the Balkans

A window of opportunity for the Balkans

I write after a week spent in Brussels – to work on the crises in the Middle East, and particularly in Syria – and in the Western Balkans, a region that is part of Europe, geographically, and can collectively become part of our European Union. This is the message that last Wednesday we brought to Pristina, Kosovo, together with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Johannes Hahn. It is time to close the wounds of the past, and take new steps to guarantee stability to the region and the whole of Europe. We discussed this with President Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, the Chairman of the national Assembly Kadri Veseli. But also with a group of young people and civil society representatives, in an open and sincere discussion – here is the video. The conversation continued the day after in Sofia, in Bulgaria, with all our six Balkan partners. In the coming months they have – and we have – a unique window of opportunity to end Europe’s divisions and unite our continent. The week had begun in Brussels with the monthly meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Ministers. Once again we dealt with the situation in the Middle East. After the visits of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, last Monday we welcomed the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Palestine, together with the Arab League’s Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit: we discussed the situation between Israel and Palestine and how to restart the peace process. Here is my press conference with Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman al Safadi. Then, the tragedy of Syria and Ghouta. After I met the ministers,...