Foreign Affairs Council – 15 July 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written statement – made on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Dr Andrew Murrison), will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 15 July. It will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini, and will take place in Brussels.

The FAC will discuss Current Affairs, Iraq, Iran and the Central African Republic. There will also be an informal lunch with the Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae Popescu.

Current Affairs

HRVP Mogherini will provide an update on the current situation in Sudan and progress in African Union (AU) and Ethiopian mediation efforts towards a civilian led government. The HRVP will also debrief Ministers on Ukraine and the outcomes of the 8 July EU-Ukraine Summit. We expect HRVP Mogherini to raise recent developments in Venezuela, as well as the Sahel following her recent visit.

Iran

Ministers will discuss how to respond to Iran's breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The UK is committed to the JCPoA, and are clear that the deal is critical to shared security interests. We anticipate that Ministers will also discuss INSTEX (an instrument to support legitimate trade with Iran) and its operations. Following recent tensions in the region, the UK will call for de-escalation and dialogue to reduce the risk of miscalculation.

Iraq

Ministers will focus on the need for EU member states to work together to re-energise the reform agenda in Iraq. Security and economic reforms were major themes during the recent UK visit by the Iraqi President Barham Salih. The UK will reiterate the urgent need to address the underlying issues that gave rise to Da'esh.

Central African Republic

Ministers will discuss the political situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), with a likely focus on EU security sector support. The 6 February AU-led Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR (APPR) has improved prospects for peace, security and stability.

Lunch with the Moldovan Foreign Minister

Ministers will welcome the formation of the coalition government and the peaceful transition of power in Moldova. The government has announced a reformist agenda to tackle corruption, improve the rule of law and increase democratic accountability. Ministers will welcome this and encourage Moldova to undertake concrete measures to meets its commitments under the 2014 Association Agreement as the basis for the resumption of EU financial and budgetary support.

Council Conclusions

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Iraq and the EU's priorities for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1669