EU – Council conclusions on Developments in Africa / Iran


EU STRATEGIES/AFRICA / Sahel region / Horn of Africa / MIDDLE EAST / BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA / IRAN
EU STRATEGIES / AFRICA

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.

MIDDLE EAST

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.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

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.

IRAN

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.

OTHER BUSINESS

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.

Source:
Council of the European Union

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