The EU Foreign Ministers will gather for a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 25 June. Finland will be represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. The agenda includes the EU Southern Neighbourhood, especially Syria and Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the EU human rights policy.
With regard to the Union’s Southern Neighbourhood, the Ministers will particularly discuss Syria and Egypt. As to Syria, the Ministers will discuss the increasingly difficult and violent circumstances in the country as well as the UN-Arab League’s Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s efforts and acting in their support. The agenda will also include expanding of the restrictive measures on the Syrian administration. Furthermore, the Council will discuss the current political situation in Egypt after the second round of the presidential elections.
With regard to Iran, the Council will discuss the nuclear programme, which was the topic of negotiations between Iran and EU3+3 (France, United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Russia and China) that continued on 18-19 June in Moscow, led by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.
The EU High Representative Ashton’s visit to Pakistan on 5-6 June was an important step in building closer relationship between the Union and Pakistan. The topics will include the Union’s support to the country’s democracy developments and engaging Pakistan to regional cooperation.
The Council will also discuss political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the steps taken in the country to implement the reforms required by the EU.
The Foreign Affairs Council is to agree on the adoption a human rights strategy, which will encompass the Political Declaration stating the basis of the EU human rights policy in the future as well as an Action Plan for the next few years. The Council will, as part of the human rights policy, appoint a new EU Special Representative for Human Rights in the near future. The Special Representative is expected to contribute to raising the EU's human rights profile together with the High Representative.
Further information: European correspondent Tarja Fernández, tel. +358 40 590 9855, Advisor to Foreign Minister Tuomioja Katja Pehrman, tel. +358 40 181 9257