Jerusalem, a capital for two States

Jerusalem, a capital for two States

I write at the end of a week very much focused on the situation in Israel and Palestine, after President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem. We Europeans believe that Jerusalem must be the capital of two States, the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. And we believe that the only way to achieve this goal is via direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians (here is my press conference on Friday, and here the interview with Christiane Amanpour). This is what I told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in our phone conversation on Wednesday, when I also invited him to work for all demonstrations to be peaceful (press release here). And Abbas will be our guest at the Foreign Affairs Council in January. This is also what we discussed with Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman al Safadi, in Brussels on Friday. Jordan has a very special role when it comes to Jerusalem: King Abdullah is the custodian of the Holy Places, and a wise man. He can count on the European Union’s full and constant support. Here is my press conference with Safadi. I will deliver the same message tomorrow – together with the 28 EU Foreign Ministers – to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will join us in Brussels. And with the same openness, I spoke to our American friends: I talked on the phone to Jared Kushner’s, the President’s Middle East advisor, and in person to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, here in Brussels. With Tillerson we discussed all the main foreign policy issues: those the European Union and the United States have different opinions about, such as the fight against climate change and the United Nation’s role, and all...
With Rohingya refugees. Then at work with our Eastern partners and Africa

With Rohingya refugees. Then at work with our Eastern partners and Africa

I write after a week that begun in South-East Asia and ended with our partners from Eastern Europe. Last Sunday I was in Bangladesh to visit the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, hosting hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees (video here). I heard stories – particularly from a group of women and mothers – so powerful that I will never forget. To help find a solution, I met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and the day after, in Myanmar, with State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi. I was in Myanmar on the occasion of the Asia-Europe Meeting: so on Monday morning we gathered all the Foreign Ministers who were there, to encourage an agreement on the Rohingyas’ fate (here my statement on behalf of EU ministers). And an agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar was reached a few days later: now, as European Union, we expect that their return will happen fast and in safe conditions. Here is my statement on the agreement. The Asia-Europe meeting was also an opportunity to discuss cooperation on peace, security and economic growth with our Asian partners. Here is my speech at the opening ceremony of the summit, and the meeting’s conclusions. Back to Brussels, on Wednesday we worked to prepare next week’s summit between the African Union and the European Union. I met with the African Union’s Secretary General Moussa Faki, then – at the European Parliament – with Central-African President  Faustine-Archange Touadera and Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop. Over the last days, once again we saw terrible images coming from the detention camps in Libya: we have agreed joint measures to protect these people and help them go back to their homes (here is my joint statement the President...
Five important issues, and one memory

Five important issues, and one memory

I write after a week spent travelling between Brussels, Trieste and Paris, working on five important issues for security and growth in our continent: the Balkans, the Sahel, our common defence, our relations with Russia, and the Mediterranean. First, our relations with the Balkans. In Trieste we met with the leaders of our six Balkan partners that are not yet part of the European Union. Together we launched a clear message: the door of the European Union is open to the Balkans, and the path towards a unified Europe continues. But we also worked on some practical projects for regional cooperation, to improve transports and increase exchanges in the Balkans. Here is what I told journalists after the summit. And here is the press conference after last Monday’s Stabilisation and Association Council with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Trieste Summit was also the opportunity for a long conversation with Emmanuel Macron, on the Balkans and on Africa, on the situation in the Gulf and on European defence (here is the press release). I kept working with him on Thursday, in Paris, together with Angela Merkel. The President and the Chancellor were meeting for the Franco-German Ministerial Council, and together we launched a new Alliance for growth and security in the Sahel. Here is the document we signed together. In Paris I also met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and with the Ministers of Defence of France, Germany, Italy and Spain – Florence Parly, Ursula Von Der Leyen, Roberta Pinotti and Dolores Cospedal. Here is the press release on my meetings in Paris. On Wednesday, in Brussels, I received the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, after my visit...