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Foreign Affairs Council

Volume 590: debated on Thursday 15 January 2015

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 19 January. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meeting will be held in Brussels.

Russia

This discussion will focus on the EU’s relationship with Russia, which has deteriorated rapidly following Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine. The UK will argue that the EU must continue to lead the way in holding Russia to account for its actions. There must be full implementation of the Minsk agreements before any reduction of sanctions measures against Russia. Any new relationship with Russia must recognise that Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner to the EU and that business must be conducted with full implementation of national and EU law.

Climate change

The high representative will update Ministers on the UN climate negotiations. Ministers will discuss the aims for co-ordinated EU climate diplomacy activity in 2015 ahead of negotiations to agree a global deal on climate change at the conference of the parties to the UN framework convention on climate change in December. The UK will stress that climate change, with the risks it presents to international prosperity and security, must remain a foreign policy priority for the EU and that the EU needs to demonstrate leadership in the pursuit of an ambitious global climate deal in 2015.

Libya

Discussions on Libya will focus on the deteriorating security situation. The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, may join Ministers for part of this discussion. The UK remains deeply concerned by increasing violence and political polarisation in Libya and its impact on the wider region. The UK’s priority will be to ensure the continued support of member states for the efforts of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya, Bernardino Leon, to resolve the political crisis and pave the way for peaceful political dialogue.

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