Foreign Affairs Council, 3191st meeting: extracts from the press conference by Catherine Ashton

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-074902   Duration: 10:03:40  Lieu:
End production: 15/10/2012   First transmission: 15/10/2012
On 15 October 2012, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, chaired the 3191st meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg. This video shows extracts from the press conference following the meeting.

Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
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10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Arrival of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC 00:00:06
10:00:11 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): The commitment of the EU is to work with the UN, African Union and ECOWAS in particular to prepare an intervention plan on behalf of the people of Mali, who have suffered greatly over recent months. And with that in mind, the Council asked the EEAS to prepare a Crisis Management Concept for a possible mission particularly focusing how to help re-train and re-structure the Malian military, who must take the lead themselves in restoring legitimate government in the north. 00:00:37
10:00:49 Cutaway of cameramen 00:00:03
10:00:52 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): There was a discussion too about the latest deliberations on the Iranian nuclear programme. It remains a matter of great concern to all of us. And we are determined to continue our twin-track approach. We have always said that sanctions are not an end in themselves, but are aimed at applying pressure on the Iranian authorities to meet their international obligations and commitments. They are not aimed at the Iranian people. We remain determined to achieve a diplomatic solution to the issue and hope that Iran will engage seriously with the proposals we have made. 00:00:38
10:01:30 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:01:34 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): Of course a great deal of our time was in discussion on the horrific situation in Syria, reflecting our great concern about the deteriorating situation. We agreed again that there must be an end to violence and a transition towards an all-inclusive, peaceful and democratic Syria. That is why it is so important for us that the opposition works together on a common programme for the future of the country and why is vital that there is no further spill-over of the conflict to neighbouring countries. The recent attacks on Turkish territory from within Syria are totally unacceptable. 00:00:38
10:02:12 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:02:16 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): I was very pleased to say that ministers gave their enthusiastic support to the EU-Egypt Task Force which we are organising in Cairo in mid-November and for which preparations are now well underway. I hope this will be a real contribution to the Egyptian economy and will be indicative of the close relations we have and will help us to build support around the new democracy. 00:00:26
10:02:42 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:02:45 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): The parliamentary elections in Belarus were yet another missed opportunity to conduct elections in line with international standards. We are very concerned about increased acts of harassment and repression of civil society and political opposition as well as a diplomatic crisis with Sweden. The development of our bilateral relations remains conditional on progress on Human Rights, democracy and the rule of law. Until then, our policy remains unchanged so we prolonged the restrictive measures for another year. 00:00:33
10:03:19 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:03:22 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): In Georgia we welcome the conduct of recent elections – the first peaceful transition of power in Georgia's history. The new PM with whom I have spoken will have to work with President Saakashvili for the good of the people. It's essential for Georgia's future that this period is calm and well-managed. 00:00:17
10:03:40 Departure of Catherine Ashton 00:00:09
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