Washington, 21/01/2015
150122_03_en
REMARKS

Remarks by the HR/VP Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE MOGHERINI: Thank you, John. You’ve said it all. As my first trip as a minister was to Washington, my first trip, my visit as a high representative for the European Union outside of our immediate region is in Washington. In think that’s natural and that is exactly because we work every day on common challenges in a very united and common way.

The most difficult thing of this cooperation is actually to find you in Washington. I agree on that. As we are not only going to be in London tomorrow together, but also in Davos and then in Munich in a couple of weeks, it’s a common agenda we have. And I particularly would like to thank you for the first official bilateral meeting we had in Brussels in December and the Energy Council we had. I think that is one of the elements that shows how our cooperation is not only relevant for the rest of the world, but it’s also relevant for our respective population in – on both sides of the Atlantic.

The cooperation, the strong partnership between the European Union and U.S. is, I would say, in our DNA. It’s in our history and it’s our job to make sure that it’s in our future as well. And if I can judge from the way in which we work together, European Union, U.S., and all the member states together with the European Union and the U.S., I can say that I’m more than sure that this is going to stay. The unity of our action, the unity of our sharing information and views and messages and narratives is a large part of our strength.

Being it on the Ukrainian crisis, where from the very beginning – I was not in this position at the time, but still we were working together already, very much on that – is part of the reaction that is one of the most successful parts of our reaction. Our unity, the capacity to coordinate our responses, being it on the level of the support for the Ukrainian reform process, being it on the principles to which we stick when it comes to our sanctions policy, I take it – I take the opportunity again here to stress the fact that not only we developed our sanctions policy together, but we’re going to follow up our sanctions policy together in a coordinated way. We discussed that – we started to discuss that with the foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday. This is a decision that, from the European Union side, will be discussed again and retaken again in March. Obviously, that is going to be a heads of state and government decision in March, and then later on in the year we have different sets of renewing decisions on the sanctions over the year. But I would like to stress it once again, as you very well know: Any kind of decision on sanctions is going to be based only on the full implementation of the Minsk agreement, and it is in the hands of the Russians now to fulfill their own commitments, as you said, and that is going to be the only basis on which the European Union is going to decide any further steps on sanctions.

Obviously, we have a lot of other things on the agenda, and I would like to thank you on behalf of all Europeans for the support that – the message and the physical presence that we got after the attacks in Paris. I said here in Washington yesterday that it was a little bit as if it was our 9/11. We had other attacks on the European Union soil, but in this case, symbols of our culture, of our values – like the media freedom, the police, the Jewish community – were attacked, and the reaction of the European people, together with the rest of the world – first of all the Americans but also other countries, African countries, Asian countries – is that of unity against a phenomenon that attacks not only Europeans or Americans, but first of all attacks Arabs and Africans, as is the case with Boko Haram – or Asians, all over the world. That is not a fight between the West and Islam; this is a fight against terrorism that unites us all, Europeans, Americans, Arabs, Africans, Asians, everywhere. And the meeting tomorrow will be exactly that added value of a partnership – partnership that unites us all against a phenomenon that is brutally devastating societies all over, starting from the Arab countries. And I think the strength of our response is not only in our unity, but also on the fact that we know that we have to develop this partnership more and more every day and support each other in this fight.

We have plenty of other issues on the agenda, on which we work every day. You mentioned some of the most important regional ones for us in Europe, the ones around the Mediterranean, from Libya to the difficult situation in the Gulf – the news coming from Yemen in these last hours are extremely worrying and need all our efforts to move in the more positive direction – to the Palestinian-Israeli issue and the efforts we will discuss tomorrow in London not only to fight Daesh but also to find ways out of the war on Syria that is getting close to the fourth year now.

Looking closer to European borders, you mentioned the work we do together, we have done together, and we still continue to do together on the Balkans – not only on Bosnia where we have some positive steps going on, but also on the dialogue between Kosovo and Belgrade. That is something that we work very closely together, hand in hand.

Let me conclude by saying that yes, indeed, we have not only regional and crisis issues to manage together, but also big global challenges. This year, in particular, the climate change – I would say that never in history U.S. and EU has been – have been so much aligned on our efforts on climate change. And just on Monday, foreign ministers, even in a time when we have to face extremely serious crisis on our territory and around us, we adopted an action plan, a diplomatic action plan to reach the goals in view of Paris, all together. Imagine that the European Union together with the member states can count on some 90,000 diplomats and staff in our network in the world. If we coordinate that all together and partner with you, I believe that in December in Paris we can get to an historic result when it comes to climate change.

And this is not just for the future of our generations to come – my children, children’s children – but this is very much linked to security. You know that better than anyone else having been – having this been one of the issues on which you personally also connect to very much.

But this is also the year where we have the opportunity to work on the post-2015 development agenda, and here again I think we have a big opportunity to work hand in hand – European Union, United States – in the UN framework to make sure that we put an end on poverty.

When you mentioned the need to attack the root causes of terrorism, we know very well that we have to prevent conflicts and crisis that is more convenient, a little bit easier, even if it’s still difficult, but definitely more effective rather than facing the crises after they really become open.

So thank you for being in Washington while I’m here. We planned that very carefully and we found out that this was one of the last unique opportunities to find you in Washington. And looking forward to continue our work together, be it in Washington, in Brussels, around the world, because really, the complex world we have – the quantity and the quality of crises we have around us really can count only on our strong partnership to have some hopes of being solved.

Thank you.