The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, participated in the deliberations of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), held today in Brussels. The situation in Ukraine and Libya, the situation in Egypt and the EU – Egypt relations, as well as the Middle East Peace Process, were the main issues in the Council’s agenda.
In the framework of the Council’s deliberations, the Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed his counterparts on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and on the issue of convening new Conference on Cyprus. Kasoulides also referred to the role the EU should play in the Conference, with the aim to reach a mutually accepted solution on the issues of Security and Guarantees. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also briefed his counterparts on the last-minute demand of Turkey regarding the implementation of the four freedoms among European citizens and citizens from Turkey. Minister Kasoulides indicated the importance of such a demand towards the common market and the labor movement, since it will affect all the member states of the Union sooner or later. Replying on behalf of the member states, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that she will monitor this issue.
In the framework of the Council, the reform agenda in Ukraine was also discussed, as well as the disorderly situation in the eastern part of the country and the implementation of the Minsk Agreements to end the conflicts. Then, Foreign Ministers examined the situation in Libya and the ways, in which the EU could support the mediating efforts to end the political stalemate in the country. In his intervention, Minister Kasoulides agreed on the need to reinforce the possibilities of the Government of National Unity, so that the sovereignty of the Libyan state is stabilized. He expressed support to the effort of revising the Libyan Agreement Policy, in coordination with the regional actors and the various involved parties within the country.
During the Ministers’ lunch, a reference was made on the situation in Egypt and views were exchanged on the EU – Egypt relations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that Egypt has a strategic role on the security and the stability in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and underlined the importance of supporting the Government of Egypt in its effort to reform, especially in the economic sector.
Finally, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs discussed the latest developments in the Middle East issue, as well as how the role and the positions of the EU are shaped in the Middle East Peace Process. Kasoulides stressed that the EU should remain in communication with the parties, the regional actors, as well as the new US Government.
Before the beginning of the Council, Minister Kasoulides attended a working breakfast of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European People’s Party (EPP)./IBNA