Brussels, 14 December 2015
Check against delivery.
We will discuss with the ministers today a series of issues that are very important for all of us. First of all, today we will follow up the Rome conference on Libya that took place yesterday, and during which all the relevant countries in the region and the international community agreed on the support to the Libyan process. The UN Secretary General Special Envoy for Libya Martin Kobler will be with us. The two of us will debrief the ministers on the results of the conference and we will work on the package of support that the EU has prepared already in the last months, including financial support to the Libyan authorities in the moment when the new government will be formed.
We expect the Libyan process to bring some results in the coming days. Obviously, this is a Libyan-owned, Libyan-led process but the important thing is that the international community -and the EU in particular - supports it in united, coherent and coordinated way and with all our means. It is important for the Libyans, first of all, it is important for the security and the stability of the region, it is important for migration, it is important to counter the spread of Da’esh that we have to contain and ultimately eliminate.
On counter-terrorism, we will also talk together with the counter-terrorism coordinator of the European Union and I will update the ministers of the steps that we have already done in the last 8 months on the external part of our counter-terrorism action. This includes in particular cooperation and dialogues on counter-terrorism with key countries in the region, in particular in the Middle East and in North Africa. And we will discuss our priorities in this field, so that we can further implement other steps.
Then, the Foreign Minister of Turkey will join us for an informal session over a working lunch. We will discuss with him mainly the foreign policy and regional issues. This means Syria first of all, the fight against Da’esh, counter-terrorism again, especially the issue of foreign fighters, and obviously Libya. This is the step that follows the Summit we had with Turkey where the focus was mainly on refugees and migration. This will be the occasion to frame our relation more broadly, in the foreign policy and in the regional dimension which was something that was also discussed as an objective in the summit itself.
We will start this Council with a discussion about our Eastern Partnership. Not only Ukraine - but obviously also Ukraine-, also Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. With the ministers, we will share a common assessment of the state of play and perspectives of our relations with each of the individual partners, especially after the Riga Summit earlier this year. We always talked about a differentiated approach. It is time for us to discuss the perspective we have, share them so that we can prepare the work for next year. We have in some of these countries very encouraging situations, in some others more problematic ones.
Let me add one word on two issue that are not in the agenda, but that I will mention in the beginning of our meeting.
First, today is an important day. It is 20 years after the Dayton/Paris Agreements. We had the chance last week to meet with the Bosnian leadership and I will update the ministers on that. On a definitely less positive note, the situation in Burundi is extremely serious. We are working in these hours, especially with Commissioner Mimica, to help to stop the violence. We are in contact with the African Union and the African Union leadership to facilitate the intra-Burundi dialogue led by the region itself and we have also prepared some financial support to facilitate this dialogue so that it can start immediately. It is urgent that it starts immediately, because we have to stop the violence there.
Link to the video: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I114154