I write as I travel from Germany to Egypt, with an eye on Venezuela. The contact group that we have created with European and Latin American countries has started to work earlier this week, to support a peaceful and democratic way out to the crisis. It is the only possible way – as we repeated with the European Union’s ministers, in today’s declaration that I made on behalf of the European Union and last Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council.
Last Monday, with the EU Foreign Ministers, we also discussed the other crises we are working to end, as a matter of priority. We talked about the the positive developments in the Horn of Africa, and the situation in Ukraine and Syria, with the preparations for the third Brussels Conference we will host in mid-March – press conference here. And ahead of the Brussels Conference, I met with the new UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen – press release here.
Our meeting on Monday started with a piece of good news: we received the official notification of North Macedonia’s new name, and this week I met again with Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani. Greece and North Macedonia reached an agreement thanks to the courage of their leaders and citizens, and thanks to the power of dialogue – I talked about it here and here is the press release on my meeting with Osmani.
Dialogue and collaboration are the essence of the partnerships that the European Union has built around the world. With the United States and NATO, for instance. On Tuesday, I received in Brussels Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, with a large group of US Representatives (press release). I then had the pleasure to meet again my old friends from NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, which gathers Parliamentary delegations from all countries in the Alliance: I used to be a member of the Assembly, as president of the Italian delegation, and I witnessed first hand its essential role in strengthening political relations between the two sides of the Atlantic. Here is my speech.
When Europe is united in its relations with the rest of the world, Europe is strong – because only together our countries have the strength to protect our interest and our values, as we face old and new global powers. This is what I said at the Belgian Royal Academy, in a conversation with researchers and academics on Europe’s role in the world – here is my speech, in French.
This week I discussed the European Union’s contribution to address the challenges we all face with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor, Mali’s Minister for national reconciliation Lassine Bouaré, and Albania’s acting Foreign Minister Gent Cakay.
Finally, yesterday I had the honour to commemorate a great European, the late German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. I took part in his 100th anniversary celebrations in Hamburg, together with a great European of our times – the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Here is my speech.
In the coming days I will be in Sharm el Sheikh for the summit of the European Union and the Arab League, the first among heads of State and government of our two regions – which are historically and geographically very close, and share many of the same challenges. Our meeting is already an historic result – as I told journalists last Monday.