(Remarks by Mogherini after her meeting with Austrian President, Alexander van der Bellen)
I was very pleased and honoured to be received by the President. I appreciate enormously his personal role in supporting the European Union Foreign and Security Policy – in particular in these times under the Austrian Presidency [of the Council of the European Union], his personal engagement on the most relevant files we are working on is extremely precious.
We had the chance to exchange views on the recent contacts he has had in particular on the Belgrade and Pristina Dialogue. The support that Austria is giving, and he personally is giving to this difficult but promising exercise is extremely important.
I will have a new session of the dialogue with both Presidents [of Serbia, Aleksander] Vučić and [of Kosovo, Hashim] Thaçi in Brussels next week on Friday, 7 September. We will proceed with difficult, but as I said, possible talks on a legally binding agreement.
In general terms, the emphasis that Austria and the Presidency are putting on the Western Balkans and the European Union perspective of the region is extremely important. I personally believe that the European Union project will not be completed until the Western Balkans will be part of our family – geography, history, but also economy tells us so. And security by the way – because just few decades ago, we cannot forget what happened there. It is in our own interest to leave the door open and have them joining the family, provided the conditions are met.
We also had the opportunity to exchange views on the work we are doing to preserve the Iran nuclear deal that was reached after long negotiations here in Vienna, so we have to keep the Vienna spirit. For – again – the sake of our own security.
The agreement is working, it is a challenging exercise to keep the agreement in place with the re-imposition of the US sanctions, but we are working together, including with Austria, with all our Member States, with all our partners around the world, to make sure that this continues to be the case. Because we believe it is vital to avoid that Iran develops a nuclear weapon and for once that we have a functioning non-proliferation agreement, we should give backing to it.
And again I am very grateful to the President for all his work, his engagement, his support to the work we are doing in the European institutions.