European Union External Action

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

Bruxelles, 18/07/2016 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 160913_8

We will meet the US Secretary of State John Kerry for the first time at the Foreign Affairs Council today; it is a perfect occasion to exchange views on the most pressing issues. First of all, obviously on what is happening in Turkey, but also our common work on Syria, on the Middle East.

We will discuss Turkey together with the Foreign Ministers at the beginning of the Council, we changed the agenda and we have been the first ones to say on that tragic night that the democratic and legitimate institutions needed to be protected. Today we will say together with the ministers that this does not mean obviously that the rule of law and the system of checks and balances in the country does not count. On the contrary it needs to be protected for the sake of the country itself. So we will send a strong message on that. 

We will also pay tribute to the victims of the attack in Nice together with the French Foreign Minister [Jean Marc Ayrault] and we will discuss counter-terrorism. 

We will also have a first exchange with the ministers on the follow-up of the Global Strategy that I presented to the European Council at the end of June. This is also linked to our work on counter-terrorism and the global role that the European Union has and has to keep. 

We also have short exchanges on two issues that were prominent in our agenda before what happened last week. One is China and our relations with China; I am just back from Beijing where we had important discussions with the Chinese leadership. Also the situation in Latin America, mainly in Venezuela but not only.

 Q. Today the UK Secretary for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson is attending the Foreign Affairs Council for the first time.

Yes. I met him yesterday as I tend to meet all the ministers that join the family. We had a good exchange on the main issues on the agenda today. So as I said several times, there are no negotiations before the notification of the Article 50 is tabled. Until that negotiations come to an end - and they have not even only started but they were not even being requested - the UK is a full member of the European Union, so our common work on common security and foreign policy continues and today we will welcome him as a new member of the family. 

Q. How awkward is going to be having Boris Johnson in the room after he said that the European Union shares ambitions with Hitler?

Yesterday we had a very positive exchange. 

Q. Are you concerned that Erdogan is taking advantage of the situation?

As I said: we were the first and I was personally the first during that tragic night to say that the legitimate institutions needed to be protected. We are the ones saying today rule of law has to be protected in the country. There are no excuses for any steps that takes the country away from that. Thanks.


Q. [In Italian]


[Turchia]. Avremo uno scambio innanzitutto con John Kerry, che per la prima volta è ad un Consigli affari esteri dell’Unione Europea, anche su questo perché è importante che l’Unione Europea e gli Stati Uniti in questo siano uniti. Io sono stata la prima durante quella tragica notte a dire che le istituzioni legittime del Paese dovevano essere protette. Oggi lanceremo un forte messaggio con i ministri dei 28 Stati membri sul fatto che il rispetto dello stato di diritto e del sistema di divisione dei poteri deve essere protetto e rispettato in Turchia. Questo è per il bene della Turchia stessa, è il modo migliore per gestire un Paese che rischia divisioni molto profonde, che già le sta vivendo, il modo migliore è garantire lo stato di diritto. 

Parleremo anche ovviamente di quello che è successo a Nizza insieme al ministro francese [Jean Marc Ayrault]. Un omaggio alle vittime ma anche uno scambio sul lavoro che l’Unione Europea sta facendo sul contro-terrorismo. Ovviamente la nostra competenza è sul lato esterno e qui in questo caso sembra esserci meno terreno per il nostro lavoro, nel caso specifico di Nizza, ma sicuramente avremo uno scambio su questo e anche sul seguito da dare alla strategia globale che ho presentato ai capi di Stato e di governo a fine giugno.  Questo significa anche un lavoro sull'anti-terrorismo più rafforzato da parte dell'Unione Europea.


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