The relationship between the European Union and the United States is strong and goes beyond any change of administration, High Representative Federica Mogherini said at the end of a two-day visit to Washington for talks with the new US administration and senior members of Congress.
"We believe that there are many fields on which we coincide and where it is vital for the US to work together with the European Union and for the European Union to work with the US, be it in counter-terrorism, be it economic growth, job creation. Having said that, we are maybe entering a time of a more pragmatic and transactional kind of relationship with the United States, based on EU principles and interests", Mogherini said.
"Our economic ties are incredibly relevant. We are the first market for the United States, we are the second economy in the world and the relevance, the impact of the European Union cannot be underestimated even if I know that sometimes this is put at question here and in the European Union."
During her visit, the High Representative met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and with several senators, in particular Bob Corker and John McCain.
She talked in depth with her US interlocutors on issues including Syria, counter-terrorism, Russia and Ukraine, Libya, the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and the Middle East Peace Process.
These discussions will be rapidly followed up as she will meet US Defence Secretary James Mattis at the NATO Defence Ministers meeting on Wednesday, Secretary Tillerson at the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bonn and Vice-President Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference and during his visit to Brussels on February 20.
Mogherini underlined the strength and unity of the EU and the fact that it remains a 28-member Union until the day the UK exit negotiations are completed and the agreement comes into effect.
She spoke about the conversations she had had on Ukraine: "We agreed on the need to have a full implementation of the Minsk agreements and on the fact that sanctions are linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements."
On the Middle East Peace Process, the High Representative was clear: "Europeans are friends of both, Israel and Palestine, and we work as an honest broker to try and build the space for them to come together. We believe in direct negotiations, not an imposition of a solution. But we believe that the international community has a responsibility to create the framework and the space for the parties to come and meet and find their own way to get the two States - and on this I always agreed both with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu."
And on the Iran nuclear agreement, she underlined that it is "extremely important to stress the need to stick to the full implementation of the nuclear deal, as we see is happening now since one year".
And on the issue of migration, she added: "We make clear what we believe is the right way, which is the way that we are following, which is based on cooperation, partnership, protection of human rights, saving lives at sea and in the desert, for what comes to the European challenge to manage the migration routes, and a global work in the UN system."