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House of Commons Hansard
25 October 2016
Volume 616
  • My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 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

    A provisional report of the meeting and conclusions adopted can be found at:

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/fac/2016/10/17/.

    European Union global strategy

    The Council discussed the follow up the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy and adopted Council conclusions. The Foreign Secretary made clear that the UK would continue to support European security after Brexit. He encouraged other European countries to spend more on defence and exploit the EU’s soft power.

    Tunisia

    The Council discussed Tunisia and adopted conclusions on the joint communication “Strengthening EU support for Tunisia”, which was presented by Member states Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn. Member states welcomed the EU stepping up its support but underlined that Tunisia needed to deliver reform for real progress to be made.

    Syria

    Foreign Ministers discussed the situation in Syria, in light of recent developments on the ground and the escalation of violence, including in Aleppo. The Foreign Secretary briefed Ministers on the 16 October London meeting that he had hosted. Ms Mogherini concluded that the EU should work closely with the UN both on the humanitarian track and on preparing for the post-conflict phase.

    Migration

    Foreign Ministers took stock of recent developments related to the external aspects of migration. Ms Mogherini briefly updated the Council on migration partnership frameworks, underlining to Ministers her view that they had created a positive change in attitude within partner countries.

    Ministers agreed without discussion a number of measures:

    Council conclusions on the Democratic Republic of Congo

    The Council adopted decisions on partnerships priorities and compacts with Jordan for the period 2016-18 and with Lebanon for the period 2016-20.

    The Council renewed the EU restrictive measures in view of the situation in the Republic of Guinea until 27 October 2017.

    The Council approved the state of preparations of the first inter-summit meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and of the European Union, which will take place on 25 and 26 October 2016 in Santo Domingo.

    The Council adopted the provisional agenda of the second EU-Iraq Co-operation Council, which will take place on 18 October 2016 in Brussels.

    The Council adopted the common foreign and security policy report “Our priorities in 2016”.

    The Council authorised the signature of an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement between the EU and the United States of America.

    The Council approved the High Representative’s report on the 24th Operation Althea six-monthly review.

    [HCWS217]