EU-Africa relations were discussed in depth, covering peace and security, prosperity and partnership and looking at the opportunities the continent offers and the importance of not falling into negative stereotypes about Africa.
Speaking to the press afterwards Federica Mogherini said: "we discussed the need to move from a donors recipient relationship to a full political partnership with Africa. We fully understand that African stability is European stability and that we share common interests, not only bilaterally, but also on global level." Mrs Mogherini went on to say " I think of climate change negotiations or the post-2015 agenda – and obviously the issue of development and the issue of migration."
Ministers called on all Libyan parties to participate constructively in the UN-facilitated dialogue in Rabat to ensure the rapid formation of a national unity government. Mogherini said: "We are fully convinced that there is no military solution to this conflict, only a political solution can provide a sustainable way forward." The Council invited the High Representative to present proposals on possible Common Security and Defence Policies (CSDP) activities in support of the security arrangements.
Foreign Ministers also adopted a strategy outlining how the EU are planning to counter the threat posed by ISIL/Da'esh and help restore peace and security in Syria and Iraq. The EU aims at a comprehensive effort addressing the underlying dynamics of the conflicts, through diplomacy and support for political reforms, economic development and reconciliation between different ethnic groups. For the years 2015 and 2016, the Commission has allocated €1 billion to the implementation of the strategy.
EU Foreign Ministers welcome the adoption of the Written Commitment by BiH Presidency on 29 January, its signature by leaders of political parties and subsequent endorsement in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament on 23 February 2015 during the visit of Federica Mogherini to Sarajevo. EU Ministers agreed for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina to enter into force, advancing the country on its path towards the EU.
The EU agreed to launch the EU's military advisory mission in the Central African Republic which was established on 19 January 2015. The mission will work on reforming the security sector and the armed forces of the CAR. French Brigadier General Dominique Laugel will lead with a team of up to 60 staff for an initial 12 months.
The Council also extended the time limit of the EU's Training Mission in Somalia until December 2016. Since 2010 over 5,000 Somali soldiers have been given basic, leadership and specialised military training by military personnel.
Ministers strongly condemned recent terrorist attacks in Bamako, Gao and Kidal and expressed condolences to the families of the victims that included a Belgian employee of the EU Delegation to Mali, a French national and Malian and Chadian citizens. In a statement they said "the protection of the population, especially women and children, suffering enormously by such acts, has to be ensured."
The findings of a recent EU organised conference on Ebola "From Emergency to Recovery" was endorsed by Ministers at the Council. They reiterated its firm commitment to ending the Ebola epidemic by getting the virus down to zero and paid tribute to the heroism and sacrifice of all those national and international responders.