European Union External Action

Remarks by HR/VP Federica Mogherini upon arrival to the Foreign Affairs Council

Bruxelles, 11/12/2017 - 08:56, UNIQUE ID: 171211_32
Remarks

Remarks by Vice-President/High-Representative Federica Mogherini upon arrival to the Foreign Affairs Council

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I will welcome in a few minutes Mr. [Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin] Netanyahu for a visit that is the first visit of a Prime Minister of Israel since a long time, too many years I would say.
 
We will discuss with the 28 Foreign Ministers mainly the situation in Jerusalem, the perspectives for a relaunch of negotiations for a two-State solution.
 
We will then continue with the ministers having a main discussion on the Middle East in wider terms, not only Israel-Palestine, but also our support to the countries in the region – I think of Lebanon, first of all, where I will pay a visit next week, on 19 December, to show support to Prime Minister [of Lebanon, Saad] Hariri and the institutions of the country, but also a renewed strategy on Iraq. Again, the European Union is crucial in supporting the country as it is getting out of the terrible experience of fighting Daesh. So, we are there to consolidate the institutions and the security situation. And, we will have a discussion with the Ministers – as I said – on the wider Middle East situation.
 
We will have an important decision with the Foreign Ministers, that will adopt a historic decision to establish the Permanent Structured Cooperation [PESCO]; 25 Member States have notified their intention to participate. They will do it formally today. And they will also, I would expect, identify 17 concrete projects that will start immediately and operationally the Permanent Structured Cooperation in the field of security and defence.
 
We will then host the foreign ministers of the 5 partners we have in the Sahel, the G5 Sahel. The European Union is supporting strongly their work both on development and security, fighting trafficking and organised crime. And we will then have a point together with the foreign ministers and the development ministers on the follow-up of the European Union-African Union Summit, in particular on the work we have established with the African Union and the United Nations.
 
You know we have created a task force to fight trafficking of human beings and save and protect migrants all along the route. I can announce today that we will have on 14 December, on Thursday here in Brussels, the first high-level meeting of this task force with myself, the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union [Commission] Amira ElFadil and the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] and the IOM Director General. 
 
As you see a very intense agenda. I will meet you in very few minutes together with Prime Minister [of Israel, Benjamin] Netanyahu.