Consilium Europa – EU foreign affairs ministers discussed the deteriorating situation in Belarus and the continued repression against protesters, and agreed to proceed with a third package of sanctions.
Ministers also had a first opportunity to exchange views on the outcome of the 2020 elections in the United States and the overall direction of transatlantic relations. Discussions on the latter will be continued at ministerial level on 7 December.
The upcoming Afghanistan 2020 International Pledging Conference on 23-24 November was also touched on. The High Representative highlighted the EU’s willingness to give a positive impetus to the peace process in Afghanistan and send clear messages of solidarity with the Afghan people through financial pledge.
Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss the situation in Nagorno Karabakh, on which the EU issued a declaration recalling the importance attached to the settlement of this conflict, and the readiness of the EU to play its part in the efforts to bring lasting peace to a crucial region in its neighbourhood.
The High Representative then briefed ministers on Libya, where encouraging steps are taking place but the situation remains fragile, and Ethiopia. As concerns the situation in the Tigray region, the ethnic targeted violence, the allegations of atrocities and the human rights abuses were of deep concern to ministers, who called for all the parties to refrain from violence and return to dialogue.
Finally ministers discussed the further deterioration of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and reaffirmed the EU’s solidarity with Cyprus and Greece. Recent actions and statements by Turkey related to Cyprus were considered as contrary to UN resolutions and further igniting tensions.