Foreign Affairs Council, 3101st meeting: extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
End production: 20/06/2011 First transmission: 20/06/2011
On 20 June 2011, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, chaired the 3101st meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
The first item on the agenda was Sudan and the Council endorsed the EU's comprehensive approach to Sudan ahead of South Sudan's declaration of independence on 9 July 2011. The Council had a broad discussion on the EU's neighbourhood, in response to the European Neighbourhood Policy Strategic Review presented by Catherine Ashton. The EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in Belarus, following the latest harsh sentences imposed on opponents of the regime, and in Albania, focusing on the need to finalise the election process, step up reform efforts and look to its European perspective. The Council also discussed the Southern Neighbourhood, in the light of the latest developments in Syria, Libya and Yemen, in particular. Catherine Ashton led a discussion on the Middle East Peace Process and reported on her recent trip to the region. The discussion focused on the efforts to convene a meeting of the Quartet with the aim of re-launching peace negotiations.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of János Martonyi, Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Arrival of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the Council, and soundbite (in ENGLISH): I keep in touch with Ahmet Davutoğlu (Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs) on the issue on regular basis, so we should speak on the next day about the latest developments from his side. You have heard what the Turkish, what he has been saying recently about the situation. We also in the Russian Summit had the opportunity with President Medvedev to raise our concerns about the importance of the Security Council looking at this situation of violence, extremely alarming. And you will see that all those involved, all the international community had been calling for the violence to stop and for him to start listening to what people are actually asking him to do (2 shots)
||Catherine Ashton being interviewed
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): what we have been doing in terms of Libya itself is a number of things. First of all, the humanitarian aid, you know that we have been the largest donor of humanitarian aid and we have been helping people who need to leave the country, 55 000 people have been assisted. Secondly, as you know, I opened an office in Benghazi and the purpose of that is to be a focal point to channel support. The people talk about two things. People wanted to have support for the security sector, if you like, how you do you make sure the borders are managed properly. The place has got many weapons; many guns are now in the country. They need to be dealt with. And also peace for the security for the people is a big issue.
||Arrival of William Hague, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
and soundbite (in ENGLISH): there are crucial developments in Syria, of course, and we are waiting for a speech by President Assad this morning. The UK looks to him, as we said in our draft UN Security Council resolution to respond to legitimate reverses, to release prisoners of conscience, to open up access to the internet and freedom of the media and to cooperate with the UN High Commissioner on human rights. And of course, on Libya which will also be discussing how to further intensify the pressure on Kaddafi regime, the enforcement of the UN Security Council resolutions and bringing peace and stability to the people of Libya.
||Arrival of Alain Juppé, French Minister for Foreign and European Affairs
||Arrival of Guido Westerwelle, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and soundbite (in GERMAN) saying that they are highly concerned by violence in Syria; this is against the human rights. That is why it is important the International Community speaks together and make clear that sanctions are possible. They need to put political pressure on the regime of President Bachar el-Assad in order to isolate him (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Franco Frattini, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs (in ITALIAN) saying that he is waiting for Bachar el-Assad being wisdom. By the past he has been doing some efforts but recently he lost his mind and let violence occur. The International Community let him a last chance, he hopes he will take it.