Josep Borrell’s visit to Washington was the first time that a High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was received at the Pentagon to discuss defense issues of common interest. And the conclusion of the two days of meetings held is, as the head of community diplomacy explained on Friday morning in a meeting with journalists, that “the two parties are clearly committed to improving the transatlantic relationship” and that it gives “Due to the disagreements of the last few days having been overcome”, in reference to the submarine crisis caused by the strategic pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to defend Western interests in the Indo-Pacific area in the face of the growing influence of China. That alliance, which involved the breaking of a previous agreement for the sale of submarines from France to Canberra, raised the spirits of the EU, which was not informed. “The confrontation between China and the United States will mark this century,” Borrell said.
“We Europeans are the best partners [socios] from the United States. And for us that relationship is fundamental ”, Borrell stressed. “There is no better alternative for the territorial defense of Europe than NATO.” This visit has also served, he said, to make clear to his counterpart that “if Europe advances in its joint military capabilities, this does not weaken NATO and the transatlantic relationship, but rather strengthens them. It will always be complementary ”. The vice president of the European Commission has also confirmed that in the coming months there will be high-level dialogues between both parties on China, Russia and the Indo-Pacific area, as well as on energy policy (“now it is more urgent than ever”), trade and technology.
Borrell has also defended the decision to send an electoral observation mission to Venezuela for the regional and local elections on November 21, an issue in which he feels supported by the United States. “If they had been against it, they would have said so. There are silences that are very explicit ”, he explained during the meeting with correspondents at the headquarters of the EU delegation in Washington. “The UN commands [observadores], and if they send them, it is not strange that we do too, once the Maduro government accepted the conditions that we put on it. Someone explain to me how it hurts the opposition and the electoral process that we send the mission that tries to observe and report if the conditions are not met. “
During Thursday’s meeting with the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, Borrell debated the best way to “bring aid to Afghanistan, without this meaning that we finance the Government, which we cannot, because they have ministers who are on the terrorist list of the ONU. Formally recognizing a government is one thing, and being in contact with it for practical matters is another ”. The head of diplomacy explained that the EU has proposed to contribute one billion euros. “We are thinking of ways to do it through the UN or NGOs.”
Another of the burning issues addressed in Washington is how to resume the nuclear agreement with Iran signed in 2015, from which the previous president, Donald Trump, removed the United States. “We agree that the only way to ensure that Iran is not a nuclear military power is to return to the pact, from which the United States unilaterally left creating a huge problem. I suppose the Iranians will want to meet with us first, but there is no date yet. “
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