Foreign Affairs Council, 3222th meeting: extracts from the press conference by Catherine Ashton

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-076176   Duration: 10:02:22  Lieu:
End production: 18/02/2013   First transmission: 18/02/2013
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the Council, held a press conference after the 3222nd meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 18 February 2013 in Brussels. The EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in Mali and EU action to support Mali. They examined the implementation of the EU's Eastern Partnership, in preparation for upcoming meetings with the EU's Eastern Partners. Ministers also discussed the latest developments in Iraq. The Council debated events in the EU's southern neighbourhood and took stock of the Middle East peace process.

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10:00:00 Title 00:00:04
10:00:04 Arrival of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the Council 00:00:27
10:00:31 Cutaway 00:00:04
10:00:35 SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): Today we also agreed to extend sanctions against Syria for a further three months and we are amending them so as to enable greater non-lethal support and technical assistance for the protection of civilians. We will of course continue to assess and review the sanctions regime, if necessary, to support and help the opposition and to ensure that we are providing the best we can for the people on the ground. 00:00:25
10:01:01 Cutaway 00:00:04
10:01:06 SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): Our discussions on Mali were of course very important, because today we have launched the EU training mission which will help to reorganize, advise and train the Malian armed forces. We believe they should, of course, operate under civilian authority. This is a very important project. We will begin providing advice immediately and military training in a few weeks. We have committed to resume our development assistance to Mali, which is worth some EUR 250 Million this year, all of this linked of course very closely to the Malian government's efforts to implement the road map. 00:00:39
10:01:45 Cutaway 00:00:04
10:01:50 SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): We have today also started our discussions ahead of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November. We believe that it is very important to recognize that this summit will be a milestone in our relationship. But this is only going to be possible if both the EU and the partner countries deliver on the commitments we have made. For our partners the important message is that the pace of reforms will determine the intensity of the cooperation. Those partners most engaged in reform will benefit most from their relationship with the EU. 00:00:32
10:02:22 Departure 00:00:09
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