The Minister for Asia and the Pacific, my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mark Field) attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 26 February. The Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.
Foreign Affairs Council
Ministers called for urgent implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2401 of 24 February which demanded a cessation of hostilities in Syria to enable delivery of humanitarian assistance. They agreed that the High Representative would send a letter to the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran—the three guarantors of the Astana Process—to ask them to work on implementation of the resolution.
Ministers discussed the Republic of Moldova and adopted conclusions. Ministers reiterated the EU’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations while underlining the need to continue adopting and implementing key reforms for the benefit of Moldovan citizens.
Ministers exchanged views on the political stalemate in the country following the suspension of the Santo Domingo talks between the Government and the opposition and the announcement of presidential elections scheduled for 22 April.
Ministers expressed their solidarity with Spain, following the decision by the Venezuelan authorities to declare the ambassador of Spain in Caracas persona non grata and agreed to continue closely monitoring the situation and to keep channels of communication open, both with the opposition and with the Government.
Middle east peace process
Ministers discussed recent developments in the middle east peace process in preparation for the lunch with representatives of the League of Arab States.
Over lunch with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS) and members of the LAS ministerial delegation on Jerusalem, Ministers discussed options for reviving the middle east peace process in an inclusive manner, with the objective of achieving a two-state solution and Jerusalem as the future capital of both states. Ministers also discussed the importance of increasing collective, international support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:
The Council adopted conclusions on Burma;
The Council adopted conclusions on Cambodia;
The Council adopted conclusions on the Maldives;
The Council adopted conclusions on climate diplomacy;
The Council adopted conclusions on EU priorities at United Nations human rights fora in 2018;
The Council adopted conclusions on human trafficking in south/south-east Asia;
The Council increased the restrictive measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;
The Council added the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Information of the Government of Syria to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures;
The Council adopted legal texts imposing restrictive measures on one person for his activities in support of Daesh;
The Council adopted the common military list of the EU;
The Council adopted a decision on the continuation of EU funding for the activities of the European network of independent non-proliferation and disarmament think tanks;
The Council approved an extension for the implementation of EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
The Council adopted a decision on continuing to provide assistance to the provisional technical secretariat of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty organisation;
The Council agreed the annotated agenda for the first meeting of the EU-Cuba Joint Council;
The Council decided not to oppose the adoption of five Commission food regulations (Health)