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

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

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

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"Good morning, 

It has been a quite positive week when it comes to Foreign Policy. We have achieved an historic agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme that opens also the way for a different framework in the region and hopefully also for international relations. 

We have had a first new start in Libya that we hope can consolidate and bring positive results for the Libyan people in the future. We will discuss obviously these two issues, the agreement with Iran and the beginning of its implementation. Today we expect the UN Security Council to endorse the agreement and we will do the same here, in the Council today with the Ministers.

Regarding Libya, we will have a debriefing from [UN Secretary General Special Representative] Bernardino León today and discuss furthermore the European Union support to a national unity government, in the hope that this could come soon and that in particular the side of Tripoli could join the agreement soon. 

This week tells us that diplomacy in the long run can deliver.  This is the approach that we will discuss with the Ministers when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process. A difficult process, it seems an endless process, but we have learnt this week that diplomacy and perseverance can pay. And we will adopt the same kind of approach when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process:  working on improvement on the ground – especially in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem – and creating the conditions for a restart of the talks. 

These are ones of the main issues we will discuss today. Because today we will have also special guests – Prime Minister of Tunisia and Foreign Minister of Tunisia – joining us for sharing common work on the support to the country when it comes to security, to counter-terrorism, when it comes to economy. It is key that the European Union as such is able – and we will discuss proposals in this sense – to support the Tunisian economy especially in these times when one of its main sectors – tourism – is severely affected. 

This is the agenda for today, it is a very full agenda, a very important agenda, a very political one and I will meet you afterwards to reply to your questions.

 Q & A 

How could Iran contribute to the stability in the region? 

The Iranian deal is first of all a non-proliferation agreement and we have to keep that in mind. The starting point is the security of the region, the security of the neighbours - all of the neighbours. Making sure that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon is first of all a security issue for the region and for the entire world. It is also, as I said, the demonstration that multilateralism and diplomacy work and we desperately need this kind of signs in such times of crises. But it is also a possibility for rebuilding trust between Iran and its neighbours, between Iran and the international community. It is not an agreement based on trust, as President Obama mentioned, but it is an agreement that can lead to trust. And this is a work that needs to be done, and in the European Union, we will start discussing today. The European Union is ready to play its role, to help, to facilitate this rebuilding of trust in the region and hopefully also with positive consequences in the major issues that are open in the region, starting from Syria and Yemen. 

On Georgia? 

It is not on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council.

On Tunisia? 

It is a top priority for us. Our counter-terrorism coordinator was in Tunisia discussing these issues just a couple of days ago. I have myself written to the Prime Minister of Tunisia, a letter still in May, with some concrete proposals. Obviously for us, what is key is not only what we can offer, but what the Tunisian authorities and the Tunisian people would like, and are ready to do together with us. That is exactly the purpose of the meeting we will have with the Prime Minister today to discuss together, in full partnership, with full ownership from the Tunisian people, what kind of measures it is useful for Tunisians that we do together. From our side, that is it. We put on the table all we can do, not only on security but, as I said, we will have some concrete proposals today also on economic support, something that is very important for Tunisia.

The starting point is discussing together with the Tunisian authorities what is best to do together. 

Sul piano dell'immigrazione, a che punto siamo? 

Questo oggi è nelle mani dei Ministri dell'Interno. Sul piano dei Ministri degli Esteri oggi discuteremo della Libia con l'inviato Speciale delle Nazioni Unite Bernardino León, del sostegno all'inizio di processo di formazione di un Governo di unità nazionale in Libia e  questo è il nostro contributo anche a risolvere il tema dell'immigrazione. Oggi avremo il Primo Ministro tunisino per discutere di sostegno a quel Paese, dal punto di vista economico, dal punto di vista della sicurezza e ovviamente parleremo anche dell'accordo iraniano e del Processo di Pace in Medio Oriente. 

Per quanto riguarda l'immigrazione, come sapete bene la questione della redistribuzione - del resettlement e della relocation  - oggi è sul tavolo non dei Ministri degli Esteri, ma dei Ministri dell'Interno che ne hanno competenza. Io posso dire, per quel che riguarda la nostra azione esterna come politica estera dell'Unione Europea, che abbiamo messo in moto tutto ciò che poteva essere fatto: stiamo lavorando con i Paesi partner nella sponda sud del Mediterraneo, in Africa. Questo è un processo ben avviato e come sapete l'operazione nel Mediterraneo è partita già un mese fa e sta arrivando al suo dispiegamento massimo dal punto di vista operativo. Ora sta agli Stati Membri, alla loro responsabilità interna dell'accoglienza, della solidarietà, della condivisione, essere coerenti con quelle scelte che i capi di Stato e di governo hanno fatto. Scelte non soltanto di avere una politica estera rivolta alla gestione dell'immigrazione, ma anche una politica interna rivolta alla solidarietà e alla condivisione dell'accoglienza. Mi aspetto che i Ministri dell'Interno oggi facciano delle scelte coerenti e conseguenti con quello che tutti insieme abbiamo deciso e che tutti quanti hanno chiesto all'Europa: di essere unita, Lo siamo sul versante esterno, è bene che lo siamo anche sul versante interno.

On Bosnia and Herzegovina, only bad news coming? 

No, sometimes from Bosnia and Herzegovina we have good news and we hope that it will be possible to go back to that again. This is not officially today on the agenda but I hope that the reform agenda can move forward, this is the priority for the Bosnian people and this requires unity from the Bosnian authorities, all of them. And I hope that all of them can show responsibility towards their people in these difficult days. 

Thank you! "