In Brussels, a point of reference for our partners

In Brussels, a point of reference for our partners

I write at the end of a week when we have welcomed tens of ministers to Brussels, representing many of our closest partners. We started on Monday with Libya, in a meeting with Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj and a session of our Foreign Affairs Council together with the UN Special Envoy for Libya, Ghassam Salame: we discussed how to stop the fighting in the country and relaunch the UN-led political negotiations. Here is what I told journalists on Monday morning, here is the press release on my meeting with Serraj, and here is the statement with the 28 EU Member States. Libya was also one of the issues we discussed with the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the five Sahel countries – Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso – in a joint meeting on Tuesday with the European Union’s Foreign and Defence Ministers. We talked about how to strengthen the G5 Sahel joint military force, which is playing a crucial role in contrasting terrorism and organised crime in the region. Here is Tuesday’s press conference, where I talk about the Sahel. In the margins of the meeting, I met bilaterally with the ministers of all five countries. On Monday we also received a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I had called for a meeting on the same day with the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the UK, to confirm our support to the nuclear deal with Iran: together we spelled out again the need to avoid an escalation of tensions and violence in the Gulf. Here is Monday’s press conference on Iran and Pompeo’s visit....
At work on Venezuela, Iran and the future of Europe

At work on Venezuela, Iran and the future of Europe

I write at the end of a week that I spent in Latin America and the Balkans, at work on Venezuela and the future of Europe, but also on the nuclear deal with Iran. On Monday and Tuesday I was in Costa Rica, for the meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela. In a incredibly delicate moment for the country, marked by new violence, we confirmed that the only possible way out of the crisis is a peaceful and democratic solution. In our second day of work we welcomed the representatives on the Caribbean Community (Caricom), of Chile and the Holy See: we will continue to work with the rest of the international community to help restart a political process in the country. This is my speech opening the meeting, and here is the press conference.  During the week , together with the Contact Group, we also reacted to the arrest of Edgar Zambrano, vice-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly: here is our statement. The visit to Costa Rice was the opportunity to meet with President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Foreign Minister Manuel Ventura Robles. From Costa Rica to Albania, for the summit of the Brdo-Brijuni process – the Balkan regional forum organised by Croatia and Slovenia. On top of bilateral meetings with our Albanian guests – Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta – I also met with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, and with the Chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency Milorad Dodik. Here is the press conference with Edi Rama: I repeated that it is time to open negotiations for Albania’s accession to the European Union....
At work on Palestine and Israel, Venezuela, and the Balkans

At work on Palestine and Israel, Venezuela, and the Balkans

I write at the end of a week spent working mostly with the Balkans and on security in our region, but also on the crisis in Venezuela. The only way out of the Venezuelan crisis is a pacific and democratic solution: I repeated this together with the entire European Union (here is my declaration on behalf of the Twenty-Eight) and with the International Contact Group that we have created and we are gathering tomorrow in Costa Rica (press release here). My week started in Berlin, at the summit organised by France and Germany on the Balkans’ future. It was mainly an opportunity to meet – together and bilaterally – the leaders of all six our Balkan partners: Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanovic, North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the Prime Ministers of Albania Edi Rama and of Bosnia Denis Zvizdic. Then on Tuesday, together with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, we gathered in Brussels the group of international donors for Palestine (the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee). We discussed how to overcome the current financial crisis of the Palestinian Authority and preserve the two-state solution, for peace and security in the Middle East. Here is the press conference, and here is my statement on the new Gaza escalation. For us, Europeans, this is also about security in our region. The same is true for the nuclear deal with Iran: for three years, it has contributed to avoiding a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and also for this reason it must be...