“Europe’s priority is to ensure that the violence on the ground is reined in and brought to an end”. These were the words of Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini on her arrival in Brussels for the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council. She defined this goal as “the lodestar of our work today. We shall continue to work on sanctions, in the knowledge, however, that the essential point is to support the efforts – by the OSCE first and foremost – to foster national dialogue”.
Constitutional reform is the goal
“The goal”, added Mogherini, “is to enable the elections on 25 May, followed by parliamentary elections, to take place, and to support the constitutional reform process. But the priority is for the violence on the ground to be halted and for the Ukrainians to talk to each other – all Ukrainians. Because it is inconceivable that the situation on the ground can go on like this”.
Minister Mogherini stressed the importance of the OSCE plan. The organisation’s current Chair, Didier Burkhalter (President of the Swiss Federation), will be taking part in the European ministers’ working lunch. “We firmly support the OSCE roadmap”, stated Mogherini. “I think it’s a very important pathway as it re-opens the diplomatic channel, the channel of dialogue that we need and which Ukraine needs if it is to resolve this crisis. I think that strong support for the OSCE’s efforts and for national dialogue must emerge from today’s Council”.
Nigeria: common EU action for abducted schoolgirls important, says Mogherini
“It is extremely important to have coordinated, common action by the European Union on the case of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria”, commented Minister Mogherini. She welcomed the Foreign Affairs Council’s inclusion of this issue, at Italy’s request, in the agenda for today’s meeting.