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"Whatever happens in the Arab World affects Europeans and whatever happens in Europe affects the Arab World," High Representative Federica Mogherini said on Monday at the Ministerial meeting between the European Union and the League of Arab States. "We have the responsibility of joining forces to find common solutions to common challenges," Mogherini added.
The meeting was particularly important to prepare the first ever EU-LAS Summit due to take place in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt at the end of February.
The two sides had a frank exchange on several files, where common ground exists: support to a political transition in Syria, to a two-state solution to the Middle East Peace Process, common efforts to find a way out of the war in Yemen and the conflict in Libya.
"We are two very complex institutions," Mogherini commented during the press conference as no joint declaration followed the meeting. "It is important to have statements, but even more important is to have a clear idea of what to do together," the High Representative added. "What have emerged today are common analyses, common positions, and common ideas on what to do together."
"I personally believe that the Europeans and the Arabs have a shared interest in trying to achieve not only peace and security in Syria, but also a sustainable peace and security which requires reconciliation, a politically inclusive landscape in the country. And I am convinced that we could be able to work in this direction together," the High Representative said extending the invitation to attend the next Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.
"I believe we share on the European Union and Arab League sides – among our members – first of all, the willingness to support the full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, the starting of the strengthening of a political process under UN leadership," she added.
The Ministers also discussed strengthening cooperation on issues that are not crisis related, such as opportunities for young people, education, trade and investments. "All the work that we can do and we are already doing but we can strengthen across the Mediterranean and far beyond that to make sure that our peoples enjoy better conditions of life," Mogherini said.
Preparations will continue for the EU-LAS Summit with deeper cooperation between the two institutions.