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Foreign Affairs Council

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 23 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will report on the results of the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council on 1 October and 21 and 22 October.

The Foreign Affairs Council met on 1 October and 21–22 October.On 1 October I represented the United Kingdom. On 21–22 October my right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, (Mr. Channon) my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs, (Mr. Eggar) and I represented the United Kingdom.On 1 October the Council had a first discussion of the Commission's proposals for the adaptation of the Community's agreements with Mediterranean third countries to take account of enlargement.The Council discussed the Community position in the United Nations Special programme of action for least developed countries to be held at Geneva including the offer of a new system of export earnings compensation for least developed countries not covered by the Lomé convention.The Council held a general discussion on EC-US trade relations.The President of the Commission introduced the Commission paper on measures to improve Europe's performance in high technology. The paper was referred to Ministers responsible for research for further consideration.In political co-operation the Ministers of the Ten, Spain and Portugal issued a statement condemning the bombing of the PLO headquarters in Tunis. This statement has been placed in the Library of the House.On 21–22 October the Council discussed adaptation of the Community's agreements with Mediterranean third countries to take account of enlargement.

The Council discussed bilateral trade relations between the Community and the United States, and agreed a declaration which stressed the importance of working for mutually acceptable solutions to outstanding problems arid resisting protectionist pressures. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

The Council held a discussion of trade relations with Japan prior to the visit of several Commissioners to Tokyo in November.

The Council agreed in principle to a proposal by the Commission to accelerate tariff cuts agreed under the Tokyo round.

Agreement on a draft directive on frontier controls was blocked by the continuing opposition of Denmark.

An EC-Israel co-operation Council was held in the margins of the meeting.