Foreign ministers discussed current foreign policy issues - EU monitor

EU monitor
Vrijdag 14 augustus 2020

Foreign ministers discussed current foreign policy issues

Met dank overgenomen van Kroatisch voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2020 (Kroatisch voorzitterschap) i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 15 mei 2020.

Major topics of the videoconference were Middle East Peace Process, EU i-Western Balkans “Zagreb Summit” and the situation in Southern and Eastern Neighbourhood.

Ministers had a comprehensive discussion on the Middle East Peace Process in the context of the formation of a new government in Israel. Ministers expressed their willingness to work comprehensively and constructively with the new government once it is sworn in, but also reaffirmed their support for a negotiated two state solution.

"We had a very good and important discussion on the Middle East Peace Process. The resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a priority and in the strategic interest of the European Union. We stand ready to help."

Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The ministers referred to the Zagreb summit between the European Union and the Western Balkans, which they assessed as extremely successful.

"The EU - Western Balkans Zagreb Summit conveyed a message of strong political support to the Western Balkans and its European perspective. The EU has to stay engaged with the region, including through regular political dialogue at the highest level"

Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia

Foreign affairs ministers then had a discussion on the Southern Neighbourhood and situation in the wider Middle East, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this context ministers expressed their concern about the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic, and agreed that the current crisis is an opportunity to reflect on the EU's relations with the region in the medium and long term.

Minister Grlić Radman expressed concern over the situation because conflicts continue in some countries despite the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministers welcomed European Union's 15.6 billion-euro aid package to these countries for the urgent need to respond to the current crisis.

Then ministers approved a statement about the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The ministers also referred to the European Union's eastern neighbors. Minister Grlić Radman pointed out that Croatia, as the holder of the presidency of the Council of the EU, is committed to holding a summit between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership - following the example of the recent Zagreb Summit.

Finally ministers were informed about the preparations for:

  • the fourth Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region that will take place on 30 June in virtual format,
  • and a donor pledging Video Conference for the Venezuela displacement crisis on 26 May, that will be co-chaired by the European Union and Spain.