At today’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, EU foreign ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East and in Iraq. Mikser emphasised that EU communication with the Middle East region must be consistent to help maintain regional security and that access to humanitarian aid must be guaranteed.
Over an informal breakfast, EU foreign ministers met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, to discuss the status of Jerusalem, the Iran nuclear deal and the Middle East Peace Process.
Mikser noted during the discussion on Israel-Palestine relations that like the EU, Estonia supports a two-state solution. “The question of Jerusalem must be solved through negotiations between Israel and Palestine and Estonia does not support steps that might harm the peace process,” he added.
In regard to the Iraq question, the Foreign Affairs Council concluded unanimously that it was important to involve the Iraqi government and civil society in drafting and implementing the new comprehensive EU strategy on Iraq. “Even though Daesh has been successfully driven out of the country, guaranteeing security will remain a long-term task and international support will continue to be important for Iraq,” said Mikser.
The ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council adopted a decision that will establish a permanent structured cooperation format (PESCO) with 25 Member States of the EU participating. The council also released the first 17 projects that will begin to be implemented in this context of defence cooperation. In addition, the outcomes of the African Union-European Union Summit were discussed and a meeting took place with the foreign ministers of the Sahel countries. Developments in the Sahel and security issues were discussed at the latter meeting.
This evening, accession conferences will be held with colleagues from Montenegro and Servia, with Foreign Minister Mikser presiding. Discussions will cover the respective countries’ EU accession processes. Mikser said he was pleased that new chapters are being opened with both countries during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU: In the course of accession talks, Chapter 2 (free movement for workers) and chapter 3 (right of establishment and freedom to provide services) will be opened with Montenegro and chapter 6 (company law) and chapter 30 (foreign relations and trade) will be opened with Serbia.
Photos from the meeting (album will be updated further): https://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/albums/721576908...
Information about PESCO: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/12/11/defenc...
Information on EU enlargement: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/et/policies/enlargement/
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