Sumario: 31 January 2010, Brussels - Council of the European Union PRESS RELEASE: 3065th Council meeting on Foreign Affairs
President : Catherine ASHTON, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Main results of the Council
The Council discussed Egypt and adopted conclusions recognising the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people and urging the Egyptian authorities to embark on an orderly transition to a process of genuine democratic reform that will pave the way for free and fair elections.
The Council also discussed events in Tunisia and adopted conclusions stating the EU's readiness to support the democratic transition, in particular the preparation of elections. It also adopted restrictive measures freezing the assets of people who have embezzled Tunisian public funds.
The Council exchanged views on Belarus and adopted conclusions deploring the flawed presidential election in December 2010 and the subsequent violent crackdown and calling for the release of all detainees. It imposed a visa ban and an assets freeze on those responsible, including President Lukashenko.
The Council had a short discussion on Ivory Coast and adopted conclusions confirming the EU's support for President Ouattara and referring to the targeted sanctions imposed by the EU on former President Gbagbo and his supporters, which were extended today.
The Council agreed to open consultations with Guinea-Bissau under Article 96 of the Contonou Agreement in the light of recent events.
The Council also adopted conclusions on Sudan, the Sahel and Lebanon.
Over dinner, the High Representative led a discussion on the EU's relations with its strategic partners and its objectives for Russia. Ministers also examined the situation in the Middle East ahead of the Quartet meeting on 5 February and discussed Lebanon. The High Representative briefed ministers on the recent meeting in Istanbul with the Iranian nuclear negotiator
CONTENTS: ITEMS DEBATED
Freedom of religion and belief
Strategic partners - Russia
Iran - execution of Zahra Bahrami
OTHER ITEMS APPROVED
COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
- Guinea-Bissau - Opening of consultations
- Report on the EU action in Pakistan
- Review of the EU list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts
COMMON SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY
- Uzbekistan - Textiles
- Participation of Switzerland in EU programmes
Download the complete Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions (pdf)