5+5 annual meeting and FOROMED Group in Rome
"The annual meeting of the foreign ministers of the 5+5 group provided an excellent occasion for an overview of the state of the Maghreb at a time of sweeping change following the events of the Arab Spring and an opportunity to discuss the main issues of concern to the countries of the region." said Commissioner S Füle after the meeting in Rome on Monday. The annual meeting attended by Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia plus France, Italy Malta, Portugal and Spain was a chance for the Commissioner to underline the Commission's support for the changes in the region as described in the revised European Neighbourhood Policy offered to regional partners (on the basis of the two Joint Communications launched in 2011), explore possibilities to reinvigorate intra-regional cooperation and integration (within the Maghreb and in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean) and establish and strengthen the contacts with the Ministers of the region. The Commissioner stressed the opportunities offered by the revised European Neighbourhood Policy to support concrete projects launched in the 5+5 context.
The representatives from Egypt, Greece and Turkey also joined the participants for a meeting of the FOROMED Group with discussions focusing on the wider region and regional cooperation. Commissioner Füle also had a bilateral meeting with the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Rafik Abdessalem during which Commissioner's forthcoming visit to Tunisia as well as EU's assistance since the elections of the new government were discussed. Commissioner Füle also met the Libyan Foreign Minister Ashour bin Hayal to discuss the possibility for further support to Libya. Commissioner Füle also had a bilateral meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister during which they reviewed bilateral relations and agreed on the need to restart meetings under the association agreement.