Before I travel to Iran and South-East Asia

Before I travel to Iran and South-East Asia

It has been yet another intense week, before I head again to Iran, for the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani (here is the press release), and then to Manila, for a meeting of the European Union and Asia and to take part in the ASEAN Regional Forum. It will be an opportunity to discuss with our Asian and international partners the situation in the Korean peninsula – here is our statement in reaction to the latest North Korean test, last Friday. On the other side of the world, today’s vote in Venezuela risks to further escalate tensions in the country. Here is my declaration on behalf of the 28 EU members. Getting closer to home: this week, in Brussels, we took an important decision. Last Tuesday we extended the mandate for Operation Sophia, which for two years has been fighting human traffickers and saving lives in the Mediterranean. We decided to expand the operation’s tasks, with a better training of the Libyan coastguard. Here is the Council’s decision. On Monday and Tuesday, we gathered in Brussels the Association Council between the European Union and Egypt, for the first time since the beginning of the revolts in the Arab world. Here is the press conference with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. In the same days we also held a High Level Political Dialogue with Turkey: here is the final press conference with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Europe Minister Omer Celik. Egypt and Turkey are to crucial partners to tackle the main crises in the Middle East and North Africa: together we mostly discussed the war in Syria, the tensions in Jerusalem, the Gulf crisis – also in light...

Federica Mogherini in Crans Montana on the eve of the Conference on Cyprus

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, was in Crans Montana on Tuesday evening for the working dinner opening the new round of the Conference on Cyprus under UN auspices, with the leaders of the two Cypriot communities Mr Anastasiades and Mr Akinci, and the guarantor countries – Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and UK Foreign Secretary Johnson. The European Union has always supported and accompanied the negotiations on a settlement for Cyprus, and will keep doing so in this crucial phase. The EU is present as an observer also at this round of talks, with a team that will stay during the entire session of the Conference, providing the expertise of all EU institutions and services. European Commission First Vice-President Timmermans will be at the Conference this morning where he will represent President...
Between the Baltic and the Mediterranean

Between the Baltic and the Mediterranean

I spent the last few days, after I came back from the United Nations in New York, travelling north and south, between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. I write on my way back from Rome, where I was glad to go back to the Chamber of deputies, and to open the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean. Together with MPs from the European Union, the Balkans, from the Middle East and North Africa, we talked about the work we are doing, particularly for young people and women, to remove the obstacles and create new channels of access to the job market, to policy-making, and to participation in general inside the society and in politics. Here is my speech. On Wednesday, in Brussels, I had met with some of our Mediterranean neighbours: Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Khémaies Jhinaoui, to prepare the Association Council between the European union and Tunisia, with a special focus precisely on opportunities for our youth (here is the press release); and Turkey’s Europe Minister, Omer Celik, to discuss the future of our relations with Turkey. On Thursday, our work on the Southern front went on in London, at the Conference on Somalia, together with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the African Union’s Chairman Moussa Faki – who will be in Brussels tomorrow, for a European Foreign Affairs Council dedicated almost entirely to Africa. Here is my speech at the Somalia Conference, here the video of the session on our humanitarian support to face the famine that has hit the Horn of Africa. From South to North: on Friday I was in Estonia, to prepare together Estonia’s first ever...