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Foreign Affairs Council: Main results

EU News 407/2016

Council of the European Union

Ministers discussed the situation on Syria, in view of the latest developments, in particular in Aleppo. The High Representative underlined strong and unanimous view of all member states on the need to protect civilians and to grant full humanitarian access to all parts of Syria.

The Council had a debate on EU-Africa relations. Ministers  discussed priorities in the EU's relations with Africa, as well as how those relations should evolve in the light of emerging challenges. They emphasised that engagement in and with Africa remains key to preventing conflict, promoting human security, addressing the root causes of instability, and managing migration flows. While development cooperation remains a key aspect of EU engagement in Africa, ministers also underlined the importance of economic relations and investment, and the need to help create jobs. Ministers also highlighted the need to continue working on governance, democracy, human rights, and related aspects of participation, in particular of civil society and of women, in decision-making.

Ministers discussed migration issues ahead of the European Council of 15 December, which will take stock of the latest developments in the EU's  migration policy. The Council took note of progress in the partnership framework approach, which is providing its first concrete results.  Minister also discussed the implementation of the Valletta commitments ahead of the  senior officials meeting that will take place next February in Malta under the auspices of the rotating Presidency. The Commission informed the Council that  64 actions worth €1 billion had so far been approved through the EU trust fund for Africa.

A Political Dialogue an Cooperation agreement with Cuba was signed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, EU foreign ministers, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.  This is the first ever agreement between the EU and Cuba, and provides for an enhanced political dialogue, improved bilateral cooperation and the development of joint action in multilateral fora. It will support the transition process of the Cuban economy and society. It promotes dialogue and cooperation to encourage sustainable development, democracy and human rights, and find shared solutions to global challenges.

After the Council meeting, ministers had an informal discussion with President Santos of Colombia. The EU and participating member states then signed the constitutive agreement of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia.

Source and additional information:

Flicker: European External Action Service URL