European Union External Action

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

Luxembourg, 20/06/2016 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 160620_01

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Good morning, very briefly, you know that today we have, as usual, a very busy agenda. We will start with two issues that geographically are far away from each other: the Arctic and the Sahel. This is also a clear example of the fact that the united European Union has an impact on regions that are close to us, both in the North and in the South.

We will also tackle the issue of the visa liberalisation for Georgia and we will have our lunch working discussion on the Middle East Peace Process - after the French initiative - mainly with the EU Special Representative [Fernando] Gentilini who will update us on the state of play of the Quartet Report. As you know, our envoys were working on the finalisation of the Report over the last couple of days in Geneva. He is here with us today to share with all the Member States the state of play, the content, the way forward, so we will have an open discussion with the Ministers on that. I will also have the pleasure of meeting President Rivlin and President Abbas later this week in Brussels so we will discuss about that together with the parties.

We will also have today an important decision on Operation Sophia: we will extend the mandate for one year and expand it to additional tasks - training of the coastguards and implementation of the UN arms embargo. You know that we had a UN Security Council Resolution on this respect that endorses the role of Operation Sophia, unanimously, again, for the second time in some months. So this is a very strong signal of the international support to the European Union's role in the Mediterranean in tackling the smugglers' networks.

Obviously, we will also have an update on our work on migration, but that is very much linked to Sahel and the work we have started last week. Just on Friday, I was with the Foreign Ministers of the Sahel G5 countries but also with the Libyan Foreign Minister. We started, we launched the dialogue between Libya, Chad and Niger on border management facilitated by the European Union, so I will update the Ministers on this. And we are  of course continuing to work on the implementation of the migration compacts.

I stop here, for now no questions, but I will see you in the afternoon. Thank you.


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