The 3209th meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council was held on 10 December 2012 in Brussels.
The EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs, under the chairmanship of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the Council, debated recent developments in the Middle East. Concerning Syria, they had an exchange of views with Ahmed Moaz Al-Khatib, President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. They also took stock of the situation in the Western Balkans.
This video shows images 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.
||Arrival of Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Cypriot Minister for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE by Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis (in ENGLISH) on the decision by Israel to construct further settlements in the West bank, including East Jerusalem: saying that the position of the EU on that issue is very clear and she does not have any doubt that the Council will condemn this new announcement by Israel; they consider the settlements as illegal and a violation of international law; but the most important thing is what can be done to relaunch the negotiations so that a comprehensive and durable solution is reached which will allow the Palestinians to have their own State and at the same time will safeguard the security of Israel.
||Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis entering the Council building
||Arrival of William Hague, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
||Arrival of ?
||Arrival of Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant'Agata, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE by Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant'Agata (in ENGLISH) saying that Italy has a great respect of the Egyptian people; the outcome of the elections and the creation of this new institution is a very delicate process towards a new constitution; they expect that the will of the people that is going to be expressed again to the Egyptian institutions will be respected; there is an appeal that he can launch as Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and close friend of the Egyptian leadership, it is an appeal to moderation, an appeal to listen and to ensure the plurality and the richness of composition of the Egyptian society.
||Arrival of Karl Erjavec, Slovenian Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Arrival of Radosław Sikorski, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE by Radosław Sikorski (in ENGLISH) saying that they regard the integration of the Western Balkans as an unfinished piece of business; so they support politically the integration of the Western Balkans, provided of course that these countries persuade them that they are capable of collaborating, that they resolve their differences and that they fulfil all the criteria just as everybody else has to do.
||Arrival of Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE by Carl Bildt (in ENGLISH) on Syria: saying that it is certainly a matter of time; two things are very important here: first, to send a strong message of support to the opposition, and secondly, to show a strong support to Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria.
||Arrival of Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs
||Arrival of Michael Spindelegger, Austrian Federal Minister for European and International 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) on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council: saying that she will be briefing Ministers on the dialogue between the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo; saying that she is pleased that, on schedule, two gates have opened and two further gates will open by the end of 2012; saying that she also had a meeting with Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, who is leading the coalition that has been put together in the opposition forces of Syria; he will be coming to join all Ministers for Foreign Affairs in order to brief them on what he is proposing in terms of a political process; saying that she's urged the need for inclusivity and to demonstrate that the people of Syria can expect to see EU support, not just in this time of crisis but for the time it takes to help support and rebuild the country; on Egypt: saying that the Council is calling for real inclusive dialogue and de-escalation in tension and that she has been in touch with the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
||Arrival of José Manuel García-Margallo, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel García-Margallo (in SPANISH) saying that Spain asked to discuss Egypt; they are all concerned; the minimum they could ask for is to delay the referendum for technical reasons but ideally the text would need to be rethought and move towards a more inclusive assembly.
||Arrival of Guido Westermelle, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Arrival of János Martonyi, Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Arrival of Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Arrival of Didier Reynders, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, External Trade and European Affairs
||Arrival of Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces