I write from Ethiopia, where I will take part in the African Union’s Summit, before travelling to other parts of the Horn of Africa. I will write about this in the next days (in the meantime, here is the programme of the visit). I came here straight from Montevideo in Uruguay, where I co-chaired with President Tabaré Vázquez the first meeting of the contact group that we have created to help find a solution to the crisis.
With the members of the group – from Europe and Latin-America – we decided to proceed with contacts with the Venezuelan sides, to seek a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis, and to avoid a violent escalation of the conflict. Our goal is to help establish as soon as possible the necessary guarantees for new presidential elections, and to allow for the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance – reaching those who are truly in need, and avoiding that humanitarian aid gets politicised. For these reasons, we will soon send a technical mission to the country. Here is the official statement and what I told journalists after the meeting.
The week had started with the meeting of Foreign Ministers from the European Union and the Arab League, to prepare our two organisations’ joint Summit at the end of the month. We discussed the crises in our region – from Libya to Yemen and Syria, also in view of the Brussels Conference for Syria that we will host in March. But we also talked about our cooperation to strengthen our economies, create jobs, manage migration flaws, address climate change. Here is my speech and the final press conference.
On Wednesday I also spoke with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, discussing the way forward in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.