The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, convened on Friday 14 August a video conference meeting with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 27 EU Member States. The aim of the discussions was to address the pressing situations in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Belarus after the August 9 Presidential Elections. The Ministers also touched upon the situations in Lebanon, Venezuela and Bolivia.
I am looking forward to seeing the Ministers [of Foreign Affairs of the European Union] in person after a long [period of] videoconference meetings and it is going to be important to be all together here in person because we have important issues to discuss.
The Council adopted conclusions reaffirming the EU's political commitment to support the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security, stability, democracy, prosperity and self-reliance. The EU will condition its future political and financial support to ensure that the republican, democratic and values-based principles are protected and further promoted. The conclusions also reiterate the EU's support for a negotiated political settlement leading to lasting peace and reconciliation, which must build on the democratic and human rights achievements of the past 19 years.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, the European Union and its Member States have observed cyber threats and malicious cyber activities targeting essential operators in Member States and their international partners, including in the healthcare sector. Since the beginning of the pandemic, significant phishing and malware distribution campaigns, scanning activities and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have been detected, some affecting critical infrastructures that are essential to managing this crisis.
Today we met with the Ministers for an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council that finished sooner than expected. I would like to start by expressing my appreciation to the Croatian Presidency for its swift response in organising on the spot this extraordinary meeting of the Council. The urgency was understood by all and the Croatian presidency provided the logistic means.
We expressed our solidarity with our Member States who are facing a very difficult situation in their borders: Greece, of course, but also Cyprus and Bulgaria.