For a political solution to the war in Syria
I write on my way back from Saudi Arabia, where I took part — for the second time in a row — in the annual summit of the Arab League.
This year’s summit was even more important than the usual ones, in such a delicate moment for the war in Syria.
The EU is always opposed to the use of chemical weapons — we repeated it right after last week’s attack in the outskirts of Damascus — and we support the efforts to prevent new chemical attacks.
At the same time, we know that the only possible solution to the Syrian tragedy is a political solution, not military, through the Geneva negotiations led by the UN.
This is the position of the entire EU — and I restated it yesterday (Saturday), on behalf of all 28 countries of the union, with this declaration.
Today, in Saudi Arabia, I spoke about this — and about the other regional crises — with the UN Special Envoy Staffan del Mistura and with many of our regional interlocutors: Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the King of Jordan Abdullah II, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, the Foreign Ministers of Iraq Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, of Kuwait Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabahand of Morocco Nasser Bourita, the Secretary Generals of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, and of the African Union, Moussa Faki.
In just over a week, we will host — as European Union — the second Brussels Conference on the future of Syria.
It will be the first opportunity to shift the focus on diplomacy and peacemaking, and to try and bring the Syrian parties to the negotiating table in Geneva. Here is my speech today at the Arab League’s Summit — on Syria and the other conflicts in the Middle East.
During the week I stayed in contact with the governments of the US, France and the United Kingdom, and on Friday morning I met in Brussels with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
I also met with the new German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. Tomorrow (Monday) I will gather with all the EU’s Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg, to discuss the situation in Syria and preparare the Brussels Conference.
• Federica Mogherini is High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.