6 February 2017, Brussels – Council of the European Union Meeting n°3516 discussed Ukraine, Libya, the Middle East Peace Process and Egypt
We will have intense exchanges in the coming weeks with our US counterparts. Today’s discussions, on Ukraine and the Middle East Peace Process in particular, were very useful to take stock of where the EU stands, that it is united, and has very clear positions.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The Council discussed the political situation in Libya. EU foreign ministers reaffirmed the importance of Libya regaining its stability through an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan political agreement. They underlined the important role of regional actors and organisations could play in this regard. The EU will join the United Nations, the League of Arab States and the African Union to form a Quartet bringing together mediation efforts. A stable and peaceful Libya is important not only for its neighbours – the EU included, but for the Libyans themselves, as well as for migrants currently in Libya. The Council adopted conclusions on Libya.
Middle East peace process
The Council discussed the Middle East peace process in light of the most recent developments. Ministers reiterated their concern over the new settlements announced by Israel and called on both sides to restrain from taking any measures that might result in an escalation of the conflict. The EU reaffirmed its strong commitment to work to achieve a comprehensive peace deal, preserve the viability of the two-state solution and reverse on-going negative trends on the ground. The High Representative expressed the EU’s readiness to continue working with the UN, the United States and Arab partners in order to achieve these goals.
The Council reviewed the situation in Ukraine. The Council expressed its strong commitment to support the Ukrainian reform agenda, through continued and significant financial support, as well as through the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM Ukraine). Ministers underlined that Ukraine has taken important positive steps in many areas, in particular in socio-economic development and the fight against corruption. The Council encouraged full implementation of these reforms as well as further progress in areas such as constitutional, judicial and electoral reform, public administration, and the energy sector.
In light of the recent resurgence of violence in eastern Ukraine, foreign ministers expressed their concern, in particular with regard to the humanitarian situation. They discussed how to increase EU support for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The Council reiterated the EU’s backing of the Normandy format discussions and recognised the important work done by the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine.
Over lunch, ministers discussed the situation in Egypt and the way forward for bilateral relations. They addressed more specifically EU support for economic growth and job creation, dialogue democracy, the rule of law and human rights, cooperation in areas such as counterterrorism and migration, and Egypt’s role in the region. The discussion prepared the next Foreign Affairs Council meeting, to which Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Hassan Shoukry will be invited for an informal discussion with EU ministers.
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