European Union External Action

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

Luxembourg, , 15/10/2018 - 11:39, UNIQUE ID: 181015_7

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

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Good morning,


We will have a particularly busy agenda today with the Ministers [of Foreign Affairs of the European Union].

First of all, we will hold a discussion on Libya. I just met with the UN Special Envoy [for Libya, Ghassan] Salamé in Brussels a couple of days ago, and I will report to the Ministers about the state of play in Tripoli, in Libya. We will focus on how the European Union can even more support the work of the United Nations, both on the political process, but also on economic reforms and on the security arrangements.

We will then have a separate discussion on the external work we are doing on migration. We will have with us the leadership of the UNHCR [UN Refugee Agency] and of the IOM [International Organisation for Migration] - the newly elected IOM Director General [António Manuel de Carvalho Ferreira] Vitorino will join us by video conference from Geneva, and [Filippo] Grandi will be with us.

We will focus on the different strands of work we have been putting in place, also in view of the European Council that is meeting in Brussels later this week. We will prepare the ground for the Prime Ministers and Heads of States to review the work we are doing and indicate where Member States are ready to do more, in which fields of action, on the external side of migration.

We will then have a point on the Central African Republic, also there seeing how we can step up our support to the country that is in a difficult condition.

And we will have a discussion on Venezuela, checking whether we can, as European Union, with the help of Member States and others in the region, see if conditions can be created to have some sort of political process ongoing.

But first and foremost, I have to say, we are extremely worried for the situation of the country. Our position is extremely clear and we have had the chance of discussing this with all regional partners, most recently with the President of Chile [Sebastián Piñera] and with the President of Colombia [Iván Duque]. So the European Union's position is clear, we will share it again but we will look at ways in which, if there is a chance, the European Union can help the region to find a solution to one of the worst political crisis.

Let me also say that the day will not be over then. I will meet you again for a press briefing on the Foreign Affairs Council, but after that we will be happy to host the Foreign Ministers of our six Eastern partners. We will have a ministerial session with them during the afternoon and then a working dinner.

The Eastern Partnership is a key component of our foreign policy, and this ministerial will be an important moment to review not only the different bilateral relations we have with them, the different partnerships we have with them, but also a common work we have as Eastern Partnership as such.




Are you going to discuss the case of Saudi journalist [Jamal Khashoggi]?

I will mention, obviously, the latest events on which I already had the opportunity to comment one week ago, from Lisbon. The European Union expects full investigations from the authorities of Saudi Arabia, full cooperation with the Turkish authorities in line with what also our main partners and allies have expressed, mainly in Washington but also elsewhere. We expect and we hope that there will be transparency and full clarity on what happened. And, yes, I will for sure discuss this with the Ministers at the beginning of our meeting.


Will there be a common EU reaction to Saudi Arabia?

As I said, I believe I expressed the position of all when I said, for the time being, we expect first of all transparency, clarity and cooperation on shedding light on what happened and then we will see. 


Possible new sanctions against Russia?

This is not properly on the agenda today. But today the Ministers will discuss something related to our sanctions regime: the establishment of a legal framework against the use of chemical weapons. This is a decision that I hope the Ministers will take today, which is going to give us a new legal framework for being even more persistent on this file, which is an extremely worrying one.


How far will Brexit dominate the agenda today?

I do not think it will. It is not external relations yet.


On Libya: which conditions do you see so that the Palermo meeting will not be a missed opportunity or only a photo opportunity? Will the European Union take unilateral sanctions against the militia?

We will discuss these issues today with the Ministers. On Palermo, I think it will be also a good opportunity for our Italian colleagues to present the conference, the expectations and the foreseen outcome. I am constantly in contact with our Italian colleagues. I know that they are actively working with the Libyan counterparts in the preparation for that. We are supporting them and I will personally be in Palermo at the conference. I will tell you more at the end of the meeting. Thank you.


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