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Foreign Affairs Council – 20 January 2020

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written statement – made on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Josep Borrell, will chair the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels on 20 January.

The FAC will discuss Current Affairs, the Sahel, Climate Diplomacy, and will be followed by an informal Ministerial lunch to discuss the Middle East Peace Process.

Current Affairs

HRVP Borrell will raise Bolivia, ahead of the future elections, and the prospects of sending an EU electoral observation mission for May’s elections.

On Venezuela, the HRVP will touch on recent developments following the Parliamentary elections on 5 January and plans for EU engagement.

We also expect Germany to debrief on the planned Berlin summit on Libya. HRVP Borrell will focus on what role the EU can play in support of any outcomes in Berlin.

The Sahel

We expect HRVP Borrell to debrief on the outcomes of the G5 Sahel summit in Pau on 13 January. Ministers will discuss the EU’s approach to the Sahel in the context of the deteriorating security situation in the region.

Climate Diplomacy

Ministers will assess the EU’s Climate Diplomacy Strategy, drawing on the December European Council outcome. They will consider how they can work together to drive ambitious action at COP26, in order to deliver on the promise of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The United Kingdom will emphasise the importance of, and its commitment to, tackling climate change as a national and global priority ahead of COP26.

Informal Ministerial Lunch on the Middle East Peace Process

Following the FAC, Ministers will discuss the Middle East Peace Process and the wider security and stability in the Middle East. The United Kingdom will reiterate its support for a negotiated settlement based on the two-state solution, leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. Ministers may also discuss developments in the wider region which were last discussed at the FAC on 10 January, following the E3 (France, United Kingdom and Germany) triggering the Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) on 14 January.

Council Conclusions

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Climate Diplomacy to give momentum and focus to its external engagement ahead of COP26.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS37