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EU foreign ministers meeting on Eastern Partnership, Egypt, Syria and Myanmar

By Sweden - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
EU foreign ministers meeting on Eastern Partnership, Egypt, Syria and Myanmar
EU foreign ministers meeting on Eastern Partnership, Egypt, Syria and Myanmar
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, October 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- On Monday 21 October, the EU foreign ministers will hold their monthly meeting in Luxembourg. Developments in the EU's Eastern Partnership, Syria, Egypt and Myanmar are on the agenda. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will participate on Sweden's behalf.

The EU's Eastern Partnership is expected to be discussed at the meeting, ahead of the summit in Vilnius on 28-29 November. In the Government's view, the Eastern Partnership is key to bringing the partner countries closer to the EU. The EU should continue to back and develop the partnership, and the summit will be an important part of this. Assuming that the established criteria are met, the Government hopes to sign the agreement with Ukraine and provisionally conclude similar agreements with Moldova and Georgia.

The ministers will also discuss the situation in Syria - the issue of chemical weapons, political developments and the humanitarian situation - and how the EU should act. The Government is concerned by developments in the country, their regional consequences and the increasingly difficult humanitarian situation. The Government welcomes the Security Council's agreement on the destruction of chemical weapons and emphasises that a Geneva II conference should be held as soon as possible. The EU must give its full support to the political process and send a coherent message to the opposition on the importance of constructive participation in the conference.

At the meeting, the ministers are also expected to discuss developments in Egypt and follow up the conclusions of the extraordinary foreign ministers meeting in August. The Government remains concerned about developments in the country. The interim government's roadmap must be based on a political process involving all relevant stakeholders. Efforts must be made to promote the transition to a democratic form of government. In light of developments in Egypt, and based on the conclusions from August, is it adequate for the EU to apply the principle of 'more for more' and 'less for less'?

Aung San Suu Kyi will take part in the meeting's working lunch. The Government sees an opportunity for the EU to support her constructive role in Myanmar's positive developments over the past two years. But the remaining problems should also be addressed - mainly the situation of the Rohingya people, anti-Muslim violence, ethnic conflict and the reform of the constitution.

A press conference with Carl Bildt is planned following the meeting. Journalists interested in following the press conference via Bambuser (live webcast video) should contact press secretary Erik Zsiga.