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Foreign Affairs Council

Volume 641: debated on Thursday 24 May 2018

I will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 28 May. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting will be held in Brussels.

The FAC will discuss current affairs, Iran, DRC, Post-Cotonou and Venezuela and possibly the middle east peace process (MEPP).

Foreign Affairs Council


Ministers will have a substantive discussion on the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPoA) following the decision of the US to withdraw from the agreement. The FAC will consider a package of economic measures being drawn up by the EU that aim to protect European business interests and enable the EU to continue to meet commitments to sanctions relief to Iran under the JCPoA. The UK continues to view the Iran nuclear deal as important for our shared security, and therefore remains firmly committed to ensuring it is upheld. To this end, we are working with the remaining parties to the deal.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Ministers will have an initial discussion on the political situation in the DRC. They will consider progress towards overdue presidential elections, now scheduled for 23 December 2018, which we hope will see the first peaceful transition of power in the independent history of the country. The UK is a leading voice in international efforts to ensure these elections take place as planned. We will focus on the need to ensure that the international community remains united in putting pressure on the Government of the DRC to meet the democratic aspirations of its people.


The FAC will adopt the negotiating mandate for a post-2020 agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries. The FAC will give an initial political steer to the Commission ahead of the negotiations, which will be formally launched at the EU-ACP Council of Ministers in Togo on 31 May.


Ministers will discuss the political situation in Venezuela following presidential elections held on 20 May. The FAC will also consider how to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Venezuela and its impact on the region.


Following the opening of the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and recent violence along the Gaza border, Ministers will have an exchange of views on prospects for the middle east peace process.

Any other business (AOB)

Under AOB, the UK and France are planning to update the FAC on their ongoing efforts to strengthen compliance with the chemical weapons convention.

Council conclusions

The FAC is expected to adopt conclusions on strengthening civilian CSDP, enhanced EU security engagement in and with Asia, the special report by the European Court of Auditors: “Election Observation Missions—Efforts made to follow up recommendations but better monitoring needed”, and on small arms and light weapons.