Tag Archives: Josep Borrell

Libya: Borrell focus on arms embargo

EU top diplomat Josep Borrell participated in a G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that took place via video-teleconference call on Wednesday, 25 March.

Addressing Libyan conflict Borrel stressed the urgency of turning the temporary cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes into a full ceasefire. He reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to support the UN-led process and the implementation of the Berlin declaration and reiterated the need for all parties to respect the arms embargo. The EU is working to deploy a mission in the Central Mediterranean to ensure the respect for the UN arms embargo.

EU-Africa paramount partnership

“This is one of the most important international partnerships that we are going to build. That is why we are here, the two of us together [with Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen], to stress the fact that this joint communication is an important first step towards a new partnership with Africa. From now on, we need to engage with our African partners on establishing joint priorities” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell at the press conference on the Joint Communication towards a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa, taking place in Brussels on March 9.

“We will have a summit with the African Union in October, which will be the culminating moment for our work on this Strategy with Africa, when we should jointly agree on common priorities and deliverables. We need to make our partnership visible and concrete for African and for European citizens alike.

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“The European Union is Africa’s first partner by all accounts: trade, investment, development, cooperation, security. We want this to continue, to scale it further and make it even more efficient. The European Union and the Member States – because the intergovernmental part and the community part have to work together – we have geopolitical interests in Africa. Our growth and security depends on what happens in Africa, maybe more than on any other part of the world.

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“If we want to reach our climate change goals and manage migration – just two pressing issues, migration and climate change – Africa is the key partner. There is nothing more important for us from the point of view of climate change and migration than what is going to happen in Africa. Africa can count on our renewed support to meet its objectives in terms of sustainable development, digitalisation, climate change and governance, peace and security.

“After our meeting in Addis Ababa, I went to Sudan and I witnessed how much the youth play a determining role on Africa’s future. The future of Africa, as much as the future of Europe, will be determined by the response we give to their political and economic aspirations.

“I want to stress how important our partnership is and is going to be. As High Representative and Vice-President of the Commission, this will be one of the most important endeavours I will have to face together with all the Commissioners of the cluster for a stronger Europe, and very much in particular Commissioner Urpilainen in charge of international partnerships. As I said at the beginning, this is one of the most important, maybe the most important international partnerships that we are going to work [on].

“My last word is to reiterate that the European ties with Africa are not about or for Africa, nor about Europe or for Europe. It is about two continents, two sister continents that have to work together for the future of their people. That is why the communication that we are presenting today is a first step in a process that will take until the autumn of this year, and beyond, towards a new Strategy with Africa.

“It is very difficult to stress how important it is, from many points of view, and especially for the most important political guidelines of the Commission – and climate change and migration are two of them, maybe the most important, but not the only ones. Digitalisation, wealth, job creation, the better understanding among our people is part of this rich and impressive work that we have in front of us”.

Humanitarian aid €30M to Sudan

The European Union provides €30 million in humanitarian funding for vulnerable people in Sudan to help address needs in the country.

The announcement comes as the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, visited EU aid projects in El Fasher, North Darfur, one of the conflict-affected areas in Sudan. “The European Union continues to stand in solidarity with the people in need in Sudan. Our humanitarian assistance notably helps children get access to education, which is crucial to build a better future. In time of crisis, it is fundamental that our humanitarian partners can fully exercise their lifesaving job. We welcome the recent positive steps taken by the Sudanese transitional government to ensure this.”

“Helping those most in need is our priority. Our new aid package will provide food and nutritional assistance, shelter, emergency healthcare, access to clean water, and education for children caught in humanitarian crises” Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said.

The EU is a leading humanitarian donor in Sudan. Since 2011 it has allocated almost €550 million in life-saving assistance to address various humanitarian needs in the country, largely destined for the Darfur states. The new funding will also support delivery of aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, areas that have been cut off from international assistance for years.

Borrell heads to Darfur

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell will travel to Ethiopia on February 27 to attend the 10th meeting of the African Union – European Union. His visit will continue with bilateral discussions with Ethiopian authorities on Friday, 28 February. Further he will then travel to Sudan, on Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1st March.

On Friday, Feburary 27 Borrell will meet the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed to reiterate the EU’s support to his political and economic reform agenda. He will also visit an EU-funded project that aims at Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern and Central Ethiopia (SINCE), as part of the EU’s concrete support in addressing economic and social challenges in the country.

On Saturday Borrell will travel to Sudan, where he is going to meet Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the Chairman of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan. There the EU dilomat will bring a message of support to the civilian transition. He will deliver a speech at the University of Khartoum, and meet with Foreign Ministers from member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). On Sunday Borrell will visit a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Darfur.

EU comitted to Sahel

The EU Foreign affairs Council exchanged views on the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Sahel and the role the EU can play as leading partner in the region. The debate has been centred on ways to increase the impact of the EU’s actions supporting security, stability and development. The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell deplored death toll in Sahel region  – Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, inderlinging the number of growing number of causalties last year amounting to five thousand people (4,779), among them 1500 soldiers.

 

The EU commitment to Sahel is considerable and unprecedented: because of the amounts mobilized but, above all, because of the longevity and intensity of the European political and human investment. Since 2014, the EU – Commission and Member States – has mobilized more than € 8 billion to respond to the multiple challenges of the region.

However the EU must do more, differently and better, and be more effective and better understood by the populations, the joint action must be rethought, the European diplomat said. The EU dialogue with our Sahelian partners must be more frank, more in-depth and be based on mutual trust in order to break the terrorist dialectic which seeks to divide all those who want peace in the Sahel.

Berlin conference on Libya failed

Concluding Berlin conference on Libya, German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered an insight into the problems the diplomacy faced, while attempting to bring opposing parities at the table for talks.

Negotiators were unable to bring the opposing parties to the table, Merkel said.

Berlin conference has offered an international setting for opposing forces in Libya, however supported by the UN the Chairman of the aministration resideing in Tripoli (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj, and the chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar refused to meet directly to engage in talks on future settlement for Libya.

However the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell concluded the conference has been a significant event, confriming the committment of the EU to work towards peace in Libya, and he also underlined the meaningful refelection on the contribution of the ceasefire monitoring, and respect of arms embargo.

Al-Sarraj visits EU institutions

Today in Brussels the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell met with Fayez al-Sarraj, and Mohamed Taha Siala  in two separate meetings, addressing them as the “Prime Minister” and the “Minister of Foreign Affaris” of Libya.

The first meeting was hosted by the President of the European Council Charles Michel (pictured)  a separate meeting was held jointly with the Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas.

They discussed the latest developments in Libya and the need to immediately cease the hostilities and return to political negotiations under UN leadership. Josep Borrell reiterated that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and further military action will have “catastrophic consequences for the Libyan population and for the whole region”. He underlined that in order to find a solution to the situation, all sides will need to sit around the table and have a “genuine political dialogue”.

Following Minister Maas’ debrief on the Berlin process, Borrell also expressed the EU’s readiness to mobilize the required tools and resources to guarantee the full implementation of practical measures to ensure a sustainable ceasefire and accompany the political process. He confirmed the EU’s readiness to engage with all sides to find a way forward.

The Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts put the needs of all Libyans to the forefront and suggest sustainable solutions to core issues such as unifying institutions, distributing the country’s wealth equitably, and outlining a realistic roadmap towards a political settlement. It also aims at ensuring the buy in of all international players to put an end to external interference which will only exacerbate further the conflict.

Today’s meetings follow a meeting of the High Representative/Vice-President with the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy and the UK on 7 January in Brussels and is part of the EU’s active engagement with all actors. Further meetings, including an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Friday 10 January, are foreseen in the coming days.

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