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EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels

24 January 2022 News

Deputy Foreign Minister Irena Dimitrova is taking part in the first regular meeting of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council this year, which took place today in Brussels. The foreign ministers discussed European security, in the context of growing tensions on Ukraine's border with Russia, as well as the situation in Syria and Libya. Current issues related to developments in Sudan and Mali, as well as the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Indo-Pacific Region were also addressed.

EU foreign ministers agreed on the need to adhere to the fundamental principles of European security and the sovereign right of each country to choose its foreign and security policy. The Council discussed opportunities to support Ukraine, including additional financial assistance. United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also joined the discussion. The Council adopted conclusions on the European security situation.

"We must continue to adhere to the basic principles of European security and remain united in our positions and messages. It is imperative that we continue to work closely with the United States, NATO, the United Kingdom, as well as Ukraine and Georgia", Deputy Minister Irena Dimitrova said. She pointed out that diplomatic efforts for de-escalation of the situation through dialogue should continue, insisting on adherence to international law and existing multilateral and bilateral agreements.

The foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Syria. The crisis there remains a major risk factor for the region's security, raising fears of new migration flows and terrorist threats. UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen also took part in the discussion. "The only way to resolve the Syrian crisis is through a comprehensive and inclusive political process, based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We fully support the actions of the Special Envoy of the UN General Assembly Geir Pedersen", said Deputy Minister Irena Dimitrova.

Libya was also among the highlights of the Council's work. The ministers noted that the situation in the country remains complex and unpredictable, calling for the timely adoption of a new roadmap for the Libyan factions and a new date for the elections, with a view to stability in the country.

EU foreign ministers also discussed options for implementing the EU's Indo-Pacific Cooperation Strategy, stressing its inclusive nature and highlighting the key importance of coherence and the EU's Global Portal initiative. A ministerial-level forum for cooperation with the countries of the region is to be held in Paris on 22 February 2022.

The Council noted with concern the lack of progress on the necessary political and institutional reforms in Mali, discussing the possibility of imposing restrictive measures and adopting a comprehensive EU approach. The situation in Sudan was also briefly discussed, given the mass protests there and the resignation of the prime minister.

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