European Union External Action

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

Bruxelles, 19/11/2018 - 11:50, UNIQUE ID: 181119_6

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

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Good morning. I will see you several times during today and also tomorrow, because today and tomorrow we will gather the Foreign and the Defence Ministers of the European Union for a very intense agenda. 

Today with the Foreign Ministers we will discuss first and foremost the situation in Yemen. I discussed yesterday on the phone with the Special Envoy of the United Nations for Yemen [Martin] Griffiths on how the European Union and the Member States can best support his work in this crucial moment that could be or become an opening for an end to the war in Yemen, one of the most devastating humanitarian catastrophes of our times.

We will also discuss the situation in Ukraine. And also this I have discussed yesterday with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister [Pavlo Klimkin]. 

And together with the Defence Minister we will continue our work to strengthen European defence. In particular today I expect Ministers to see how our Permanent Structure Cooperation is advancing, with 17 new projects to be adopted. And tomorrow, we will have [with us] Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, to continue our work to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation that is going extremely well.

So, a full agenda. I know there is many other issues and topics that probably will come up during our discussion with the Ministers and on which I will come back to you during the day.


About Iran. There are many serious cases of attempts of attacks on European soil, for instance in Denmark. And we know that the Danish government is going to raise a discussion today. Would you support further sanctions?

I have discussed the situation and that attempt with the Danish Foreign Minister [Anders Samuleson] on the very same day when the case was coming out at the end of October, beginning of November. And we will have a point raised by him today at the beginning of our meeting. It is very important for us to address all challenges and all complications that derive from Iranian behaviour, be it on European soil or in the region. This is something we always address very openly with our Iranian counterparts, always. And it is always very important for us to make a clear distinction between these issues and our full support for the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran on the other side that continues to be very strong and on which, as you know, we will continue to work as much as we can.


Will there be EU response to these developments?

We will discuss that with the Ministers today.


When will the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) be ready?

You have to ask the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the UK. Our work continues, their work continues and we support it. The involvement of the Finance Ministers of the E3 [France, Germany, UK] is of key importance at this stage. They are working hard to finalise it. I cannot tell you a date, but I can tell you that work is continuing and is progressing in a positive manner. And again, as I said, the involvement of the Finance Ministers of these three Member States, but also of other Member States is, I think, a crucial step that makes me think that it will be delivered sooner rather than later.

Thank you.


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