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Foreign Affairs Council: 3 April 2017

Volume 629: debated on Monday 16 October 2017

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 April. The Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

Agenda items included Syria, Yemen and Libya. Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, debriefed on the Arab summit in Amman over lunch at the invitation of the HRVP.

Syria

The Council discussed the situation in Syria and adopted Council conclusions. The discussion reaffirmed the EU remained committed to a political solution to the crisis. Planning for post-conflict assistance needed to start, but there could be no reconstruction assistance until a credible political transition was firmly underway. The Council agreed to adopt the EU strategy on Syria.

Yemen

The Council discussed the situation in Yemen and adopted Council conclusions. HRVP Mogherini discussed a potential EU role in Yemen to restart political talks. Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the seriousness of the situation in Yemen and discussed a new framework that had been presented to the warring parties.

Libya

Council members discussed the situation in Libya following the first meeting of the Libya Quartet on 18 March 2017. They discussed common ground between the parties and underlined the EU’s commitment to supporting Libyans in finding unity and stability within the framework of the Libyan political agreement.

Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:

The Council adopted conclusions on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.

The Council adopted conclusions on Somalia

The Council adopted a decision supporting the UN programme of actions to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and lights weapons (SALW) in all its aspects.

The Council extended its decision 2014/129/CFSP until 2 July 2017 in order to ensure the smooth continuation of the work of the EU non-proliferation consortium of think-tanks, based on the funds still available.

The Council amended the restrictive measures in view of the situation in Yemen to transpose an update by the United Nations related to four persons subject to restrictive measures.

The Council adopted a new EU policy on training for the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

The Council approved the exercise specifications for the EU crisis management military exercise in 2017 (MILEX17).

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