17 January 2017, Brussels – High Representative Federica Mogherini will this spring host an international conference in Brussels on the future of Syria and the region. The announcement came following the first meeting in 2017 of EU foreign ministers, which the High Representative chaired.
“It will have two main objectives. On the one side, taking stock of the implementation of commitments of the donor community at the London conference, on which the EU has delivered in full,” Mogherini told the press after the meeting. “But most of all it will be a political conference, hoping that could be the moment for the international community together to turn the page and start the political transition, the reconciliation process and the reconstruction of Syria.
Late last year, High Representative Mogherini launched the EU Regional Initiative on the future of Syria, which aims to identify with regional partners common ground on the post-conflict arrangements for the country and examine the scope for reconciliation and reconstruction once a credible political transition is firmly under way.
The second round of talks on the initiative – with Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon– began two weeks ago and will continue with Qatar and Turkey. In this context, Mogherini also had discussions last week in Geneva with the new Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and [the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria] Staffan de Mistura.
Mogherini also outlined the ministers’ discussions on the Middle East Peace Process, which followed Sunday’s Paris conference, which was attended by delegates from more than 70 countries.
“We strongly reconfirmed today our consolidated EU position on the two states … and on the trends that are endangering this perspective … settlement expansion, violence and incitement to violence and the situation in Gaza,” Mogherini said.
The meeting came on the first anniversary of the beginning of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement between the European Union, China, Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and Iran.
“In the course of this year, JCPOA participants have demonstrated their full commitment to respect and implement the deal,” Mogherini said in a statement. “The seriousness with which they have done so sends a reassuring signal to the international community of Iran’s adherence to a civilian nuclear programme exclusively for peaceful purposes. It also conveys an important and encouraging message to the Iranian government and people.”
Summing up her approach, Mogherini said: “I firmly believe diplomacy works and can deliver, and will continue working in this direction in 2017 and beyond.”
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