EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, Russia and Ukraine
The EU Foreign Ministers will gather for a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 14 May. Finland will be represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. The meeting agenda will include Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, the situation in the Southern neighbourhood of the Union, Russia, Ukraine and preparations for the EUMexico Summit.
The main topic of discussion concerning Afghanistan is the EUs preparations for upcoming international meetings: the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago on 1722 May; the Ministerial conference on development assistance to be held in Tokyo in July; and the Kabul Conference on follow-up to the Istanbul Process dealing with regional cooperation, to take place in June.
During their discussions on the Middle East peace process, the Ministers are expected to focus in particular on the situation in the Palestinian Territories and the means to support strengthening of the preconditions for a two-state solution.
With regard to the Unions Southern neighbourhood, the debate will concentrate on the current situation in Syria now that the UN monitoring mission has begun its work. Also to be discussed are the present situation in Libya and the EU and the Member States activities in support of the democracy process as well as the general elections of 10 May in Algeria, to which the EU has sent election observers.
With regard to Russia, the intention is for the Ministers to hold discussion on relations between the EU and Russia over the longer term, taking into account also the change of President that occurred in May. At the same time, the discussion will lay the ground for preparing the EURussia Summit to take place in St. Petersburg in the beginning of June.
The Ministers will also discuss Ukraine in the light of the countrys development in the sphere of democracy and the legal system. In addition, the Foreign Ministers will discuss preparations for the EUMexico Summit being organised in Los Cabos, Mexico in June.
Additional information: European correspondent Tarja FernŠndez, mobile tel. +358 40 590 9855, and Katja Pehrman, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 40 181 9257