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We have three important [external affairs] items today on the agenda of the European Union Council: we have Turkey, once again; we have our relations with the US and the prospects of the new presidency; and we have the Southern Neighbourhood.
The Southern Neighbourhood is a very important part of the world for us. We are closely working with them in order to push for their progress but we have to do more. I hope that the debate in the Council today will provide guidelines for this continued effort and to prepare the [Joint] Communication that the Commission will put forward in February.
We have just celebrated the anniversary of the Union for the Mediterranean in Barcelona. This was also an important event and I will inform the Council about this meeting.
We are also going to discuss the relationship with the US - the prospects for the new administration, how to engage with them. We hope that this is going to be a more positive one. It has been a bumpy road in the last years, and there is a lot of hope for the future work between the European Union and the US.
On Turkey, the Foreign Affairs Council reviewed the latest events and we cannot provide a positive assessment. The behaviour of Turkey has not changed fundamentally. We can even say that, from some points of view, things have been worsening. The assessment is not a positive one and we have to deal with it.
Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-200203