Foreign Affairs Council, 3199th meeting (Defence): extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
End production: 19/11/2012 First transmission: 19/11/2012
On 19 November 2012, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, chaired the 3199th meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.
The Council welcomed the formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and
Opposition Forces and considered them legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people. This agreement represents a major step towards the necessary unity of the Syrian opposition. At the same time, the Council reiterated its full support to the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi in finding a political solution to the crisis.
The Council took stock of developments in the Middle East Peace Process. It expressed its grave concern about the situation in Gaza and Israel and deeply regretted the loss of civilian life on both sides. It called for an urgent de-escalation and cessation of hostilities.
In their six-monthly meeting within the Council, EU Defence Ministers discussed the state of play concerning the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and adopted conclusions on military capability development. The Council also established the 2013 budget for the European Defence Agency. As far as CSDP operations are concerned, the Council noted progress in the preparation of a military mission to support the reorganisation and training of the Malian armed forces.
This video shows extracts of the arrivals and doorsteps.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the Council (in ENGLISH): First of all the unfolding situation in Gaza. I've been in touch and stayed in touch with the Prime Minister of Israel and with the Arab League and with Arab Nations. I'm very concerned about the loss of life, but I've also been saying consistently for a long time that we need to find a long-term solution to Gaza. I've been there three times and we have to find a way to prevent the kind of violent rocket attacks that we've seen, and also to bring some security and peace to the people of that region. It fits absolutely into what the EU has consistently said about the two-state solution.
Of course Syria is never far from our thoughts. The violence continues there.
||Arrival of Alexandr Vondra, Czech Minister for Defence
||Arrival of Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
||Arrival of Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Dutch Minister for Defence, and soundbite (in ENGLISH) on Turkey and Syria and saying that they did not receive any formal request yet.
||Arrival of a Member of the Military Delegation
||Giampaolo di Paola, Italian Minister for Defence
||Jean-Marie Halsdorf, Luxembourgish Minister for Defence
||Soundbite by Thomas de Maizière, German Federal Minister for Defence (in GERMAN) saying that regarding NATO, he expects today a request from the Turkish government for the installation of Patriot rockets on the borders with Syria; It is about a request in the framework of an existing concept that has been developed since 2006; It is under the authorisation of the Commander-in-chief of NATO to decide the deployment of military capacities within NATO territory.
||Soundbite by Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs (in ENGLISH): We want an immediate cease fire, which is obvious. The escalation of violence is in the interest of no one but we must go further than that in my opinion, if you have to stop and then count the dead bodies and go on as nothing had happened, then we have to prepare for the next round of fighting. I think we must look at the situation of Gaza as such; clearly not enough has been done along the alliance that the US have been suggesting before and then it is increasingly urgent to get to a peace process otherwise we'll face one crisis after the other over the years to come and it's going to get increasingly worse.