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Foreign Affairs Council 16 October

Volume 632: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2017

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson), attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 October. The Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Luxembourg.

Foreign Affairs Council

The meeting covered discussions on Burma, Iran, Turkey, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and human rights.


The Council adopted conclusions on Burma, in the light of the humanitarian and human rights situation in Rakhine state.


EU Foreign Ministers agreed a statement underlining EU commitment to the continued full and effective implementation of the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPoA), and also expressing concerns related to Iran’s ballistic missiles programme and increasing tensions in the region.


Over lunch, EU Foreign Ministers discussed Turkey in preparation for the European Council discussions held by EU Heads of State and Government on 19 October. They focused on co-operation with Turkey in the region, including Syria, Iraq and relations with Iran.


The Council discussed the situation in the Korean peninsula following recent provocative acts by the DPRK. EU Foreign Ministers agreed the need to maintain pressure on the DPRK, including through engagement with regional actors and outreach efforts to strengthen the implementation of UNSC resolutions by all UN member states. The Council adopted additional EU sanctions on the DPRK to complement and reinforce the UN Security Council sanctions.

Human rights

EU Foreign Ministers discussed the EU’s policy on human rights. Conclusions were adopted on the mid-term review of the “Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy” and the “Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2016”.

EU Foreign Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:

the Council adopted conclusions on an EU strategy on Afghanistan;

the Council adopted conclusions on Bosnia and Herzegovina;

the Council approved the EU programme of exercises and exercise-related activities under the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) for the period 2017-21;

the Council approved the signing and conclusion of a protocol to the partnership and co-operation agreement establishing a partnership between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union;

the Council established and launched a new CSDP mission to support security sector reform in Iraq. The Council also adopted the operation plan and a decision authorising the opening of negotiations to conclude an agreement on the status of the EU advisory mission (EUAM);

the Council adopted three decisions authorising the opening of negotiations with Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina for agreements on activities carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in those countries;

the Council adopted two decisions on positions to be adopted by the EU at the joint Council of Caribbean States (Cariforum) and EU member states to be held on 17 November 2017;

the Council received the high representative’s report on the six-monthly review of Operation Althea.