Foreign Affairs Council: Remarks by EU High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

We have – as always – a very complex and long meeting. We will start with the Gulf, a very complex region where we have the highest GDP per capita and the most worrisome humanitarian crisis in Yemen. From Qatar to Yemen the situation is very different. We have to see how we engage more with the region, I am coming back from this part of the world, paying a visit, and we will see what we can do to engage more with this region.

Then there is the Eastern Partnership. We are going to have the Ministerial meeting and then the Summit in December. You know that the Eastern Partnership continues being troubled by Belarus, but also by the situation in the Caucasus.

Then we have the first anniversary, sad anniversary, of the situation in Ethiopia and Tigray. And also Nicaragua, which is in a dire situation. And I think this is more or less what we are going to talk about today.

Q&A

Q. Do you think more measures against Belavia and Belarus are needed to stop the crisis?
More measures are needed, certainly. But let us see what the Member States decide.
For example, in Ethiopia I think that much more measures are needed, but there is no agreement among the Member States to take decisive steps in order to face this situation, which is one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world.

Q. You have been in the Gulf region, do you see enough opportunities ahead for the next months? To have more ideas or initiatives to develop the relationship between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)?
Certainly there are. There are some things pending for years, like the Association Agreement and the Trade Agreements. To this part of the world, we have not paid much attention and now it is the moment to do so.

Q. Could you give us some details about the talks with Iran, which should take place on Thursday. Could you confirm that?
You never know.

Q. What does it mean?
You never know, but I am more optimistic today than yesterday.

Q. So you did not get a confirmation so far?
No confirmation yet, but things are getting better. And I hope that we will have preparatory meetings in Brussels in the days to come. But I cannot be sure on that.

Q. Sobre Venezuela me gustaría saber la reacción a la decisión del gobierno de suspender las negociaciones y si cree que han cambiado las condiciones para mantener o no la misión de observación electoral allí.
Sobre la misión de observación electoral en Venezuela creo que ya he dicho todo lo que tenía que decir.

Q. Mr Borrell, you have been in Washington, Mr Mora has been in Iran, Robert Malley in Riyadh. Lots of activities. Do you think that you are going to resume soon the negotiations? And is the agreement within reach?
Which agreement?

Q. The nuclear deal.
In reach, in reach… I would not say that. Let us continue working on it.

Q. You are going to meet the Austrian Foreign Minister right now. What do you expect?
I want to wish him a warm welcome.

Q. Do you think he will change the Austrian position on different foreign topics?
No, no. For the time being, let us salute him and let us wish the best on his new post.

Q. Sobre Nicaragua, ¿qué espera de la reunión?
I hope to put more pressure on the regime. The situation is really dire

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