General Affairs and External Relations Council: extracts from the joint press conference by Javier Solana, Olli Rehn and Karel Schwarzenberg
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 23/02/2009 First transmission: 23/02/2009
Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the EU and High Representative for CFSP, Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement, and Karel Schwarzenberg, President in office of the GAERC (General Affairs and External Relations Affairs Council) and Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs, gave a press conference in the margin of the meeting of the EU External Relations Council in Brussels on Monday 23 February 2009.
The meeting was set to prepare the European Council of 19 and 20/03/2009, and to discuss the European recovery plan to boost the economy.
Among other issues, they discussed the contribution to the security with the US, the European perspective of the Western Balkans, and the situation for Belarus.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press room (2 shots)
||Javier Solana, Secretary General of he Council of the EU and High Representative for CFSP, saying (in ENGLISH) that they will continue working with the US, which are reviewing their policy; they would like very much to have a common strategy with them; and they will continue to support the police mission underground. This is their most important contribution to the security, and they will continue doing so.
||Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement, saying (in ENGLIH) that they are already committed to the European perspective of the Western Balkans. Each and every country can make progress forward once it meets the necessary conditions. They especially underlined the importance of making progress in visa free travel, where again each country on its own merits applies. They will assess a situation in the coming spring in a few months already. He hopes they can make this year 2009, indeed the year of visa free travel for many citizens of the Western Balkans. He knows how important this is for the citizens of the region. He trusts their governments and administrations. They will do everything to achieve this important objective.
||Karel Schwarzenberg, President in office of the GAERC and Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs, sayin (in ENGLISH) that it is naturally that if the Belarus Parliament decides, and it is its free decision, to recognize Southern Ossetia and Abkhazia, it would create a very difficult situation for Belarus. It would create a real difficult situation; it would be out of a European consensus and that must be clear to them.
||Cutaway (3 shots)