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Mideast and Mediterranean: Mogherini-Kerry talks, OK Conference on Libya, “very important contacts”

The Middle East peace process and the crises in the Mediterranean were the central focus of Minister Mogherini’s talks, respectively, with Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and Algerian foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra. The talks took place the day following an international conference on Libya whose participants included  40 foreign delegations, and the bilateral meeting the minister held with US secretary of state John Kerry, who thanked Minister Mogherini for the “exceptional meeting on Libya” held at the Farnesina, calling these “very important contacts” ahead of the “future development of Libya, not least from the point of view of democracy”.


Doing a great job together


The Minister, welcomed by the US secretary of state at the US embassy in Rome after yesterday’s busy sessions at the foreign ministry, said that Italy and the United States “were doing a great job together”, having “common responsibility on security issues”, referring in particular to the results of the ministerial conference on Libya and the crises of the moment, especially in Ukraine.


Crises in the Mediterranean


Mogherini had taken part the day before the international conference on Libya in a ministerial meeting of the countries of the international support group for Libya, underscoring that “at a time when the crisis drawing attention is to the east, at the eastern borders of Europe, we must maintain a focus on the crises that are still shaking the Mediterranean”, most importantly Lebanon and Syria. Mogherini also pointed out that “a technical conference will be held in Rome on 10 April in preparation for the plan in support of the Lebanese armed forces”. Then, “before the end of June and once again in Rome”, a “political meeting”  would be held of the international support group for Lebanon, to examine “what concrete projects can be set up in support of the Lebanese armed forces”. In parallel to support for Lebanon, she added, there is a “need to revive efforts at finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria, with the full involvement also of Iran”.


Talks with Lamamra


Minister Mogherini and her Algerian counterpart Ramtne Lamamra agreed on the importance of strengthening the already excellent bilateral collaboration between Italy and Algeria, ahead of the 3rd intergovernmental summit to be held in Rome in the second half of the year. Lamamra, who extended Minister Mogherini an official invitation to visit Algiers, also congratulated her on the success of the Libya conference.



 
19:00 – 6 March 2014Mogherini: let’s help Libya decide its future. Ukraine: diplomacy and dialogue in Rome. European talks in Brussels


Europe discussing the Ukrainian crisis in Brussels


The crises in Ukraine and in Libya were the focus of an intense day of international diplomacy in Rome today. The country’s extremely complex and precarious situation was the topic of the International Conference at the Farnesina opened by Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini and attended by around 40 delegations.


Participants included the Libyan Premier, Ali Zeidan, and Foreign Minister, Mohamed Abdelaziz. Also attending were the foreign ministers of the USA, France, Germany, Greece, Russia, Egypt, Turkey and others. Jeffrey Feltman, Under Secretary General for Political Affairs at the United Nations and Tarek Mitri, the head of the UNSMIL mission, also took part.


Greater effort from Libyans, support from international community


“We need to see a shake-up in Libya’s capacity to enable concrete projects to be implemented or else there’s a risk that the situation will not improve”. This was Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini’s comment at the press conference closing today’s discussions. She pointed out that the Libyan authorities “must make a bigger effort, and the international community must undertake to support them”.


Mogherini added that “the international community is committed so supporting the democratic transition process, a process that is very long and difficult, and at times slow. But Libya is not alone”. The Minister underscored that “a mutual commitment is needed: that of the Libyans, to meet their responsibilities, and that of the international community, to respect the commitments undertaken thus far”.


“Security and political stability are inter-dependent. Until now, the capacity to implement projects on the ground has been lacking. We’ve decided on concrete, agreed initiatives on governance and security”, announced Minister Mogherini, “with a commitment to meet again in Turkey in a few weeks, to monitor the implementation of these decisions”.


Ukraine: proposal for contact group drawn up in Rome


Minister Mogherini went on to comment on the bilateral and multilateral meetings that took place yesterday, in Paris, and today, in Rome, on the Ukrainian crisis, while the Extraordinary EU Summit was taking place in Brussels.


“The diplomatic path that has opened up on the situation in Ukraine seemed, until Monday in Brussels, to be closed. Those who supported it were accused of being idealists. But today it’s been the ‘keyword’ in the various bilateral and multilateral meetings taking place at the Farnesina. We can’t take it for granted that we’ll achieve a concrete outcome”, added the Minister, “but the talks are a necessary pre-condition for results”.


Mogherini announced that “today, in the margins of the meeting on Libya in Rome, a proposal has been drawn up to create a contact group on Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is putting the proposal to President Putin as we speak. If it’s accepted, it would pave the way to a political solution to the crisis”, added the Minister.


Pressure on Moscow for dialogue and negotiations


EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy summed up the position to emerge from today’s extraordinary summit: Russia must start negotiations “in coming days” and results must be seen. If not, the EU is ready to implement measures.


 


2.30pm – March 6th 2014 – Ukraine, Libya, Middle East: Rome crossroads of international diplomacy


The Ukrainian crisis, Libya, the Middle East peace process. These are the international issues being discussed in Rome today in meetings and discussions in which Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini is taking part.


In a bilateral meeting at the Farnesina, Minister Mogherini and her Russian colleague, Serghei Lavrov, were in “full agreement” on the need to impart new impetus to the national dialogue in Libya, isolate the extremist elements of Libyan society and shore up the country’s existing, but fragile, institutions. The Ukrainian crisis was another topic for discussion by Mogherini and Lavrov.


Also in Rome for the international conference on Libya is US Secretary of State John Kerry, who met his Russian colleague Lavrov after yesterday’s talks in Paris on the crisis in Ukraine.


Informal meetings


A number of informal meetings took place this morning between the foreign ministers of Italy, France and Germany, and the United Kingdom’s deputy foreign minister.


Lieberman arrives in Rome


The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has also arrived in Rome, where he will be meeting Minister Mogherini and Secretary of State Kerry in the margins of the Conference on Libya. The talks will cover “all issues currently on the agenda”, including the crisis in Ukraine.




 

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