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First of all, let me start on a positive note, because today is exactly one year after the signing of the historic Prespa Agreement between Greece and North Macedonia. I think we need to remind ourselves of the power of leadership and courage and the important steps that have been taken in the Western Balkans. I hope that Member States will remember this and acknowledge these steps forward, in particular in the coming days with an important decision to be taken on opening the negotiations of accession for both Albania and North Macedonia that I hope and believe should be done as soon as possible.
Today, we will have an agenda focused mainly on the implementation of our Global Strategy where we will have the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the 28 Member States discussing together. It sounds very theoretical, but it is indeed the work we have done on European defence, the work that still needs to be done, but also our support to multilateralism, to the UN system, to the global agenda and the way in which we work as a Union on global affairs and how we can be even more a point of reference in the world. I know that the current affairs are pressing and are many and I am happy to answer all your questions about that later in the day. But today we will also try to have a more strategic look at how the European Union can play its role in the world in a moment where it is most needed.
We will also have a point on Sudan where I believe it is going to be very important for us to send a clear message.
And we will welcome the Jordanian Foreign Minister [Ayman Safadi] for lunch and then for ourAssociation Council with Jordan. That will be a moment for us to discuss our bilateral relations and our support to a country that is a truly like-minded one in the Middle East. But we will also discuss with him the situation in the Middle East and in the region more broadly.
Q. What is your general assessment of what is going on in the Gulf region?
We will discuss the latest developments more at length during the day so I will be happy to report to you the general sense I get from the Member States. You have seen that already in the last days we have called for maximum restraint and I think that the words of Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, were of particular wisdom when he said that the world cannot afford another crisis, especially in this region. So we will discuss this with the Ministers and I will come back to you in the day. As I said, the maximum restraint and wisdom should be applied.
Q. Do you feel pressure from the US?
No. I will be in Washington tomorrow, by the way.
Q. Which topics will you discuss at the EU-Jordan Association Council?
We will discuss, as I said, with the Jordanian Minister [of Foreign Affairs, Ayman Safadi] our support to Jordan, our common work in the region. Let me say from the beginning how much we appreciate our partnership with Jordan. We will discuss for sure the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the need to preserve the two-state solution, the status of Jerusalem. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan plays an important role in the Holy City that we appreciate, value and support enormously, obviously the same goes when it comes to the broader region. So I am sure that also with him we will discuss the situation in the Gulf.
Thank You. I will see you later.
Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-174242