My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 6 February. 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 Brussels.
Foreign Affairs Council
A provisional report of the meeting and conclusions adopted can be found at:
Agenda items included Libya, Ukraine, Egypt and the Middle East Peace Process. Ms Mogherini briefed Foreign Ministers on the Serbia/Kosovo dialogue and on planning for a conference on Syria to be held in Brussels in the spring.
The Council discussed the situation in Libya and adopted conclusions. The EU remains committed to an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan political agreement, with Libyan ownership of the political process and encouragement to all Libyan actors to engage constructively. There can be no military solution to the conflict. The EU reaffirmed its continued support for the UN Support Mission in Libya and welcomed engagement by Libya’s neighbours and regional organisations. Ministers also discussed the need to stem irregular migration along the central Mediterranean route.
Foreign Ministers discussed the recent escalation in violence in eastern Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian situation around the town of Avdiivka. They also discussed how the EU could increase support for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Ministers agreed on the need for continued strong support for Ukraine’s reform agenda, which is crucial to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience, and welcomed the progress Ukraine has made on reform to date.
Foreign Ministers discussed the economic and political challenges facing Egypt, including the human rights situation, and agreed on the need for closer co-operation on these issues. Ministers also agreed that working more closely with Egypt on regional issues is a priority, given Egypt’s status as a strategic partner in countering terrorism and tackling illegal migration.
Foreign Ministers discussed issues relating to the middle east peace process. The Council discussed possible timing for the next EU-Israel Association Council and agreed to revert to the issue. Member states expressed concern about the increase in Israel’s settlement building and the new settlement legislation passed by the Israeli Knesset.
Ministers agreed without discussion a number of measures:
The Council updated the information related to 21 persons and one entity subject to restrictive measures against the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Council took note of the annual progress report on the implementation of the European
Union strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The Council took note of the annual report on the implementation of the European Union strategy to combat the illicit accumulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons and their ammunition —actions in 2015.
The Council approved the conclusion of an agreement aimed at continuing the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC).