Foreign Affairs Council, 3250 meeting: extracts from the press conference by Catherine Ashton
Type: Summary of press conference
Luxembourg [town] - Council
On 24 June 2013, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, gave a press conference in Luxembourg in the framework of the Foreign Affairs Council.
On the same date, the European Ministers in charge of Foreign Affairs convened to discuss a coordinated response to the crisis in Syria, focusing on the search for a political solution; humanitarian needs in the country and its neighbours; and security risks to Europe.
Other issues included the Middle East and efforts by John Kerry US Secretary of State, to revive the peace process there, as well as preparations for a November summit on the EU‘s Eastern Partnership with six countries including Ukraine.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, to the press conference at the Foreign Affairs Council, in Luxembourg (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH) on Syria: I wanted to reiterate how united we remain in our belief that the crisis in Syria needs a political process, needs to be solved through negotiations. That is why huge efforts have been made to help support and facilitate the planned Geneva II. We are also doing everything we can to continue support the Syrian population and those countries affected directly by the crisis. I was in the region last week meeting with ministers and also seeing from myself the help that has been given to the refugees.
||Cutaways of cameramen and photographer (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH) on the Middle East: I think the discussion today was a recognition of the importance of the work that Secretary Kerry is doing but also of the important role that we play and will continue to play in support of the two-state solution and the importance of the ongoing and future relationship that we have with the people of Israel and the Palestinian people too. The discussion in essence was about how we best support all of this process right now.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH) on Serbia and Kosovo: You have probably seen that Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, and I have sent a joint letter to update Member States on progress towards visible and sustainable normalisation of relations between the two. I particularly focused on two aspects of the progress; first, irreversibility and the quality-improvement of relations.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH) on the EU's Eastern Partnership: We also looked at the Eastern Partnership Summit in November in Vilnius and discussed the expectations for that. We will be holding a ministerial meeting with our partners on July 22nd in the margins of the next Foreign Affairs Council (FAC). We really want this to be a great and successful summit and working closely with our partners to make sure it is one. Deepening our relationship of course depends on the efforts of our partners towards the respect of common values on which this partnership is based. We have seen significant progress so far.
||Cutaway of the audience