EU — Council conclusions on Developments in Africa / Iran


Sahel region

The High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive briefed the Coun­cil on ongo­ing work regard­ing an EU strat­e­gy for the Sahel region.

The strat­e­gy will start from the analy­sis that devel­op­ment and secu­ri­ty are inter­linked in a par­tic­u­lar­ly inti­mate way in the Sahel. The approach will include sev­er­al com­po­nents such as the pro­mo­tion of devel­op­ment, good gov­er­nance and inter­nal con­flict res­o­lu­tion; polit­i­cal efforts to pro­mote clos­er region­al coop­er­a­tion and a com­mon strat­e­gy; capac­i­ty build­ing in the field of secu­ri­ty and the rule of law; the improve­ment of eco­nom­ic prospects and the pre­ven­tion of rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion.

The strat­e­gy is due to be pre­sent­ed to the For­eign Affairs Coun­cil in March.

Horn of Africa

The High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive briefed the Coun­cil on ongo­ing work regard­ing an EU strat­e­gy for the Horn of Africa.

The strat­e­gy will aim to estab­lish a com­pre­hen­sive polit­i­cal frame­work for a range of pol­i­cy pro­pos­als to address wide­spread inse­cu­ri­ty in the region. It is expect­ed to focus on: tack­ling pira­cy; sup­port­ing sta­bil­i­sa­tion in Soma­lia; sup­port­ing peace­ful tran­si­tion in Sudan; and strength­en­ing region­al integration.

The strat­e­gy is due to be pre­sent­ed to the For­eign Affairs Coun­cil in March. 


Min­is­ters dis­cussed the Mid­dle East Peace Process dur­ing their work­ing lunch, fol­low­ing a brief­ing by the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Quar­tet meet­ing on 5 Feb­ru­ary and on the fol­low-up to the pro­pos­als for a pack­age of mea­sures to sup­port Gaza. The High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive also report­ed on her recent vis­it to the region, which includ­ed, Lebanon, Israel, the Pales­tin­ian Ter­ri­to­ries and Jor­dan. Min­is­ters reaf­firmed the need for urgent progress in the peace process.


Min­is­ters dis­cussed the next steps with regard to Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina and how the EU could fur­ther rein­force its assis­tance and sup­port to the country’s inte­gra­tion per­spec­tive. They dis­cussed the talks on gov­ern­ment for­ma­tion, the urgency for BiH to tack­le the out­stand­ing reform agen­da, BiH’s imple­men­ta­tion of the Sta­bil­i­sa­tion and Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment, a rein­forced pres­ence of the EU on the ground and the EU’s tool­box for BiH. 


The Coun­cil dis­cussed the human right sit­u­a­tion in Iran, which remains a seri­ous con­cern for the EU, notably the increase in exe­cu­tions this year. On 31 Jan­u­ary the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in par­tic­u­lar con­demned the exe­cu­tion of Dutch-Iran­ian nation­al Zahra Bahra­mi in Tehran.


A num­ber of oth­er top­ics were dis­cussed, notably:
– infor­ma­tion from the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on cur­rent work regard­ing EU par­tic­i­pa­tion in the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly;
– Belarus and the out­come of the recent donors con­fer­ence;
– Pak­istan and the fol­low-up to deci­sions on trade con­ces­sions;
EU Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, notably the EUSR in South Caucasus. 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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