The European Union signed a first ever bilateral agreement with Cuba and confirmed its strong support for peace process in Colombia, by establishing a dedicated Trust Fund, on Monday in Brussels, where High Representative Federica Mogherini gathered the EU Foreign Ministers for the last regular meeting of this year.
Signing ceremony of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement by HRVP Mogherini, all EU Foreign Ministers and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla was the first event of the day.
"We are truly at a turning point in the relations between the EU and Cuba," said Mogherini. "Together, we are moving towards a closer and more constructive partnership, one that reflects strong historic, economic and cultural ties that unite Europe and Cuba."
The signing ceremony with Cuba was followed by the EU ministers only discussion on the relations with Africa, further work on external aspects of migration in strong partnership with the countries concerned, in particular five priority countries in Africa, as well as the dramatic situation in Syria, especially Aleppo.
"The European Union is working, together with the United Nations, on the protection of civilians - that is for us priority number one in this moment," said the High Representative.
"Whatever happens on the ground - we are completely convinced that there can be only a political solution for the war in Syria and this is why the European Union is working day and night with our regional partners, with the regional players to facilitate the beginning of talks and a political solution to the crisis."
At the end of their debates, the EU Foreign Ministers turned their attention to Colombia. Upon invitation of HRVP Mogherini, they welcomed President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos - this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate - for an informal discussion.
This was followed by a signing of a constitutive agreement for the EU Trust Fund for Colombia - overall, the European Union will lend concrete support to the peace process with almost 600€ million. The agreement was signed by the Commission and 19 contributing Member States.
"Almost all of our European countries have known war in the past decades, if not centuries, and know how difficult making peace is, overcoming war; we also know that the most difficult time comes when you have to build the reconciliation, the peace in the community and this is why our determination and our commitment today is to accompany Colombia and all Colombian people into this new page and new chapter they are building," said Mogherini.