Tag Archives: Foreign minister

EU supports Afghanistan peace process

We then discussed our support to the Afghanistan peace process. You might have seen the conclusions that have been adopted that highlight the concrete actions that the European Union is willing and ready to take in support of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, hopefully to be started already next week –  as it was announced that intra-Afghan negotiations might start already next week” the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while concluding the work of the meeting of Foreign ministers Council in Luxembourg.

“We have been supporting enormously the work of the Afghan legitimate authorities in their preparation for that. I am glad to see that yesterday, President of Afghanistan, Ashraf] Ghani announced the formation of the negotiating team and a senior council to lead them. I really hope that, also following our talks in Kabul a couple of weeks ago, this can open the way for negotiations that can lead to peace in Afghanistan without pre-judging neither the electoral process nor the achievements that the Afghan population has managed to reach, in particular on the rights of women, minorities and human rights in general terms.”

The Council recommends that direct negotiations between Afghans, with the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban at their core begin as soon as possible.

It confirms the EU’s readiness to support the peace process and its implementation, wit the aim of preserving and building on the political, economic and social achievements of the people of Afghanistan since 2001, which should be irreversible. The EU stands ready to support the following aspects of the process:

  • to help make the peace process inclusive;
  • to assist with reforms, including security sector reform;
  • to act as a guarantor of a peace process, if requested by the parties;
  • to assist with reintegration of fighters and their families and
  • to promote regional trade and connectivity.

EU27 foreign ministers hope for orderly Brexit

Although officially Brexit is not on the Foreign ministers Council agenda, and it can’t be, because until the end of March 2019 the UK is a full-fledged member-state of the bloc, – many urgent issues of international agenda fade overshadowed by concerns of ‘hard Brexit“.

“This is the best deal we can have,” Spain Foreign minister Josep Borrell told press at doorstep of the meeting. “This is the best deal and approving this deal would be a good thing, but for sure it’s up to them.” His opinion is an echo of the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who repeatedly warned that those, who hope for ‘better deal‘ would be disappointed: “that is The Deal“, he said.

Former European Parliament president appointed foreign minister of Spain

Former European parliament president (2004-2007) Josep Borrell Fontelles has been nominated as Spain’s foreign minister in new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist government.

Borrell, a 71-year-old former leader of Spain’s Socialists, has accepted Sanchez’s invitation to join the team, making him the first confirmed member of his cabinet, according to Spanish media reports.

Borrell will replace Alfonso Dastis, a career diplomat, who occupied the post under ousted conservative premier Mariano Rajoy.

Newly appointed ministers curriculum reached its low, when he was accused of conflict of interests and forced to resign as president of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence facing allegations of a conflict of interest.

“Borrell is being paid €300,000 a year as a board member of the Spanish sustainable-energy company Abengoa, a post he has held since July 2009, when he left the European Parliament. The EUI apparently only became aware of this in recent weeks, after comments in the Spanish press” POLITICO newspaper wrote back in 2012.

In spite of the fact Borrell’s reputation is far from being flawless,  Sanchez, a 46-year-old economist with no government experience, is obviously interested in cooperation with such an political heavyweight as Borrell, who has functioned in top positions in Spanish and international politics.

Sanchez was sworn in on Saturday, a day after defeating Rajoy’s minority conservative government in a no-confidence vote in parliament sparked by fury over a corruption scandal.

Although from Catalan origin, Borrell and has been vocal critic of the Catalan independence, he served as deputy finance minister, and then public works minister, under former Socialist prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, who was in power between 1982 and 1996.

 

Foreign ministers focus on Latin America and Africa

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the ECJohn Paul II School in Wau, South Sudan

Today the EU foreign ministers gather at the Council in Brussels to discuss relations with Latin  America and African countries, namely with Cuba, and Colombia, the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. The state of affairs in Syria, and migrant cirisis. Ahead of the meeting, the EU and Cuba representatives will sign the Political dialogue and cooperation agreement.

The EU relations with Cuba were governed by the  Common Position, but have deepened significantly since the re-launch of political dialogue and cooperation in 2008. The repeal of the Common Position and the upcoming signature of the Political Deialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba will mark an significant new phase of bilateral relations. All 28 EU Member States maintain bilateral diplomatic relations with Cuba.  An EU representation office was opened in Havana in 2003, and upgraded into a fully-fledged Delegation in 2008.

The deabate on the relations with African countries will follow, focusing on the next EU-Africa Summit which will be held in autumn 2017. The speical debate of Democratic Republic of Congo will take place, in view of imposing sanctions similar to the US, already targeting three general for crack down on demonstrations and democratic developments. The EU foreign ministers are awaited to impose assets freezes and travel bans on a number of Congolese officials directly responsible for violent supression of anti-government demonstrations in September, causing physical damages and loss of human lives.

The Council is also expected to disscuss the dramatic developments in South Soudan. The recent report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights delegation concluded that the South Soudan actual state of affairs is containting the dangerous similarities to the develompents in Rwanda, preceeding the genocide. The delegation informed that the violence was at the point of ‘no return’. The foreign reporters were deported after critical reviews on government officials, supposedly involved in ethinic cleansing.

Over lunch, ministers will follow up on developments in Syria.

Ahead of the European Council on 15 December, the Council will discuss migration, focusing on the implementation of the Valletta commitments. After the Council meeting, ministers will have an informal discussion with President Santos of Colombia. This will be followed by the signature of the constitutive agreement of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia.

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC: http://europa.eu/!Cc99Wq