On 18 June, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, concluded his two-day visit to Antalya were he participated in the South East Europe Cooperation Platform (SEECP) Summit and the Antalya Diplomatic Forum.
High Representative Borrell represented on Thursday the EU at the SEECP Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as outgoing SEECP chairman. This SEECP annual summit was an opportunity for participants to discuss new approaches and solutions to strengthen regional cooperation and global governance. During his address, the High Representative stressed the importance of South East Europe as a key region for EU security and stability.
In the margins of the summit, High Representative Josep Borrell met with the leaders of North Macedonia and Kosovo. During their meeting, High Representative Borrell and North Macedonian President, Stevo Pendarovski, discussed the next steps for North Macedonia’s EU path. Borrell stressed the EU’s continued commitment to the enlargement process and to the start of the accession negotiations both with North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible.
High Representative Borrell also met with the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani. They had an important discussion on the Pristina-Belgrade Dialogue following high level meeting this week in Brussels, as well as bilateral relations including the importance to move forward with the reform agenda. The High Representative welcomed Kosovo’s readiness to invite the EU to observe the upcoming municipal elections. They also discussed the extension of the mandate of European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in Kosovo.
On 18 June, High Representative Borrell attended the Antalya Diplomatic Forum, a platform for regional and global actors to exchange ideas and address international challenges. Borrell participated in the panel Global Governance: Approaches for Global Solutions, together with Presidents of Haiti, Somalia, Kosovo, Kenya and the Secretary General of the OECD, where they focused on how to reinvigorate global governance to address pressing issues more effectively.
High Representative Borrell also had an important meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, during which they discussed the state of play of EU-Turkey relations ahead of next week’s Foreign Affairs and European Council.
High Representative Borrell also met with Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Javad Zarif. They discussed he latest developments in the ongoing negotiations in Vienna with the view to facilitate a return by the United States to the JCPOA and a resumption of full implementation of their commitments by both the US and Iran. They also took stock of the worrying situation in Afghanistan (see here the press release).
High Representative also exchanged views with Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Mohammad Haneef Atmar (see press release here), and of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The meetings provided the opportunity to discuss the unacceptable high levels of violence in Afghanistan and the dire humanitarian situation, and support to the Afghanistan peace process. With Minister Qureshi, High Representative Borrell also discussed EU-Pakistan relations, the fight against the coronavirus and global recovery. Josep Borrell raised human rights concerns, in particular Pakistan’s blasphemy legislation and global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the margins of the conference, the High Representative met with Libyan Foreign Minister Najla El-Mangoush in view of the upcoming Libya Conference in Berlin on Wednesday, 23 June 2021.
High Representative Borrell also exchanged with the President of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), Simone Kaslowski.
Finally, in his meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, Josep Borrell expressed the EU’s continued engagement to support the dialogue in Venezuela, in order to foster a political solution to the crisis facing the country. They also discussed Venezuela’s access to COVID-19 vaccines, as well as EU-Venezuela relations.