An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
Check against delivery!
Good morning. We have two very long and busy days ahead of us, even more than expected - even more than usual. I think we have today around 70 Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers coming to Brussels.
First I will start with a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Libya [Fayez al-] Sarraj. Libya is the main point on our Foreign Affairs Council agenda today. We will also hear from the United Nations Special Representative [for Libya] Ghassan Salamé about the latest developments in Libya and, most of all, discuss how the European Union and the Member States can help the United Nations to reconvene all the different parties inside Libya for a political process and, most importantly, to agree on a ceasefire to stop the fighting in the country.
We will also have as a point on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers today the Sahel. Tomorrow, the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States and of the G5 Sahel countries will meet to discuss both the development and the security situation in the region. This entire region is not unlinked from the situation in Libya and for the European Union it is a top priority to stabilise as much as possible the entire region, supporting our partners in the Sahel and, in general terms, through a good cooperation with the African Union.
But first this morning, after the meeting with [Fayez al-] Sarraj, we will start with our Eastern Partnership 10th Anniversary celebrations. We will host the Foreign Ministers of our six partners and then tonight, as you know, President [of the European Council, Donald] Tusk hosts a dinner with the leaders here and tomorrow President [of the European Commission, Jean-Claude] Juncker will have - together with me - a high level conference to celebrate these ten years of partnership that has managed to advance ordinary citizens’ lives for good in each of the six partners, but also in the European Union we value this partnership enormously. Notwithstanding difficulties and problems that we still face in the region, our partnership has managed to bring forward our common work on trade, economic development, human rights, the role of civil society, visa liberalisation and on many other fields.
A full agenda - I hope we will manage to keep the times that we have arranged, so that I can meet you in the afternoon to brief you on all the different subjects that we will be working on with the Ministers today and obviously also tomorrow.
Q: Are you expecting the US Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] today?
We were told during the night that he was planning to change his travel plans and to have a stopover here in Brussels. He is expected, I think, to land in the late morning. We will be here all day with a busy agenda so we will see during the day how and if we manage to arrange a meeting, he is always welcome, obviously, but there are no precise plans for the moment.
Q: On Iran and JCPOA implementation?
You know very well the European Union position. First of all, we continue to fully support the nuclear deal with Iran and its full implementation. We will have also today in the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council a meeting between myself and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the UK to discuss how to best continue to support the full implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran that for us remains a key pillar of security in our region.
The nuclear deal has been and continues to be for us a key element of the non-proliferation architecture, both globally and in the region. We will continue to support it as much as we can with all our instruments and all our political will. This is very well known, both in Washington and in Tehran. We obviously also discuss with Iran, on the basis of that work, the regional developments. On some of the issues, we have very serious differences and divergences. We always believe that dialogue is the only and best way to address differences and avoid escalation in the region, which is already tense enough. Any escalation should be avoided.
Thank you. I will meet you afterwards.
Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-172390