The Office of the European Union Representative
(West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA)

Foreign Affairs Council: Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell upon arrival

Brussels, 10/05/2021 - 11:11, UNIQUE ID: 210510_3

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Good morning, here we are again, happy to have the possibility of having the Foreign Affairs Council in person which is also much better.

Today, busy agenda as always, we are going to focus on our main strategic problems.

Today maybe the most important thing we are going to talk about is the situation in the Western Balkans. We want to have an overview of the situation and see how we can engage more in the region, stressing the importance that the Western Balkans have for the European Union and looking about how can we offer a better, a stronger European perspective to the region.

Secondly, we are going to have John Kerry [Special Presidential Envoy for Climate of the United States] with us on a videoconference to talk about climate change and about how can we join forces, the US and the European Union, to push an ambitious climate change agenda. This shows that things have changed a lot in our relationship with the United States. now we are on the path to build a stronger partnership, and today with John Kerry we are going to step [up] on the topic of climate change, but in general especially after the G7 meeting it is clear that we have a much better relationship with the US.

On the contrary, we are going to talk also about Russia, where the situation is not improving, and also on Lebanon where I am sorry to say the situation is not improving either. I was talking with the Lebanese Foreign Affairs Minister [Charbel Wehbe] yesterday. Some Member States will put on the table their strong concern about the situation there. And [we will discuss also] several other issues.

It is important also to mention, I do not want to forget it, the fact that in Palestine the elections had to be postponed, the decision of postponing elections will be also something that we will discuss on the agenda; how to proceed, how to support the Palestinians on this issue. We have been pushing them a lot for holding elections and unhappily the fact that Israel is not allowing them to do elections in [East] Jerusalem has made them decide not to hold this election.

I think that will be the most important issues that we are going to talk about today.

Thank you.

Link to the video: