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House of Commons Hansard
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Foreign Affairs Council: 19 November 2018
15 November 2018
Volume 649
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I will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 19 November. It will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini, and will take place in Brussels.

The FAC will discuss current affairs, central Asia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Yemen.

Foreign Affairs Council

Central Asia

Ministers will discuss the EU’s role in central Asia ahead of the EU-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ meeting on 23 November that HRVP Mogherini and Foreign Ministers from the five central Asian states will attend. The significance of the region has grown as Russia seeks to reassert its influence with countries to its south and as China continues to expand its westward trade routes. There are positive regional dynamics with better co-operation between states, as well as engagement with Afghanistan. The UK supports the EU expanding its activity across the central Asian region.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ministers will discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) following the elections on 7 October. The UK will work with partners to promote a balanced and constructive European approach to BiH, focusing on the urgent needs for Government formation and socio-economic and other reforms for the benefit of all BiH citizens.

Ukraine

Ministers will discuss the recent spate of restrictive actions taken by Russia in the Azov Sea towards shipping using Ukrainian ports, and the so-called “elections” in the “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic” held on 11 November in violation of the Minsk agreements. The UK supports the need to take firm action on Russian aggression, bringing Russia to account for its failure to fulfil Minsk agreement obligations, and to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Our long-term vision for Ukraine is for a stable, resilient country that is a net contributor to European security, capable of defending its sovereignty, managing crises and resolving conflict peacefully and with the internal capacity to meet the needs of its citizens. Both presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in 2019, so it is vital Ukraine preserves the progress on reforms, particularly tackling corruption and promoting greater accountability and transparency.

Yemen

Ministers will discuss the situation on Yemen and how best to support the UN special envoy to make progress towards a sustainable political settlement that will underpin a long-term solution in Yemen. We will encourage all EU partners to support the UN special envoy’s proposals for de-escalation and confidence-building measures including the talks that he will convene in Stockholm at the end of November.

Council conclusions

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on security and defence, Afghanistan, small arms and light weapons (SALW), the civilian compact, Pakistan, water diplomacy, Sudan and Ethiopia.

[HCWS1084]