Africa: Foreign Affairs Council - Remarks By High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell Upon Arrival

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Good morning, This is the first Foreign Affairs Council of the year and we are going to have a very dense agenda. I do not know how we are going to do in order to deal with all these issues.

First, we will deal with the worrying events in Russia. More than 3,000 people have been reportedly arrested. This wave of detentions is something that worries us a lot, as well as the detention of Mr [Alexei] Navalny. We are going to start with this issue.

Second, we have the relationship with Turkey, after the visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr [Mevlüt] Çavuşoğlu to Brussels. Let see if we can start a new era in strong cooperation with the new United States administration.

We will discuss the EU strategy to face the COVID-19 wide spread in third countries. The European Council discussed about it and the Foreign Ministers will follow-up on this discussion.

The situation in the Horn of Africa especially in Ethiopia is very worrisome, we will discuss about it and also the case of Giulio Regeni, the Italian student killed in Egypt, as well as the [humanitarian] situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We are going to have a videoconference with the Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan [Toshimitsu Motegi] to discuss the situation in Asia and ways of strengthening our cooperation with this important country. We will also discuss climate diplomacy: how we can make our ambitious goals for climate change shared by the rest of the world. Because we need a strong diplomacy to make other states understand that behind our climate policy [there] is not any kind of protectionism, but the will to share efforts in order to reduce the increase of temperatures, which is something that affects all of us.

Last but not least during the lunch we are going to have a discussion about the relationship with the United Kingdom, now a third country for the European Union, on the fields of foreign policy, security and defence.

Thank you.

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