Foreign Affairs Council: extracts from the press conference by Catherine ASHTON, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC
Première transmission: 31/01/2013
Brussels, Belgium - Council
Fin de production: 31/01/2013
On 31 April, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC Foreign Affairs Council, held the press conference of the Council.
The Council reiterated the EU's strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali. It welcomed the progress of the Mali armed forces, supported by France and states of the region, in the !orth of Mali against the terrorist groups. It stressed the importance of continuing international commitment in support of Mali, in particular the efforts
deployed by the African states. It also welcomed the adoption of a roadmap, a vital step towards fully re-establishing constitutional order.
The Council also welcomed the end of the transition in Somalia as a historic opportunity to leave behind two decades of conflict and undertook to sustain EU's collective efforts to support Somalia's transformation. The Council had an exchange of views with the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
The Council took stock of the situation in Syria and Egypt as well as of the EU response to the Arab Spring, in view of a debate at the European Council of 7/8 February.
The Council approved the crisis management concept for a possible civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission to support border management in Libya.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, arriving
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Catherine Ashton: Next Tuesday, we will hold a special ministerial meeting of the supportive follow group on Mali which should be co-chaired by the African Union, the UN and the ECOWAS. That meeting will reinforce international cooperation support a concrete implementation the roadmap and follow-up the international donors conference at which the EU announced a contribution of 50 million Euros in support of the African led operation.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Catherine Ashton: Ahead of next week European Council we had an indebt discussion on the Southern neighbourhood focussing on Syria and Egypt. I have invites Special Envoy Brahimi to next Foreign Affairs Council on the 18 of February. Our focus is to give as much support as we can to his effort to find a political resolution to the terrible crisis. We are engage with the opposition and we have encouraged them to continue working their own internal structures while remaining committed to the principles of human rights, the rule of law. The situation is getting worst; the level of violence is totally unacceptable. We do all we can to work with together with our international partners on apolitical solution. We will continue to help the people of Syria as much as we can.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Catherine Ashton: Nobody was talking about shipping weapons today. What will happen at the next meeting is first of all, there will be absolute clarity about what is and not allowed under the embargo. There will be a discussion about what is being said to us by people in Syria and specially the opposition groups. And thirdly, where the Member States which to move, either to put the embargo where it is or to make addition to it or other. The discussion today was only the first flavour of that and that is how the discussion will be taken forward.
||General view of the meeting