On December 11, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will attend a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs/Development Council.
Discussions will focus on the following points:
- Middle East: Following the meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon on December 18 in Paris, the ministers will discuss the latest developments in the region. An informal meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be organized on the sidelines by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This will be an opportunity for the EU and its member states to reaffirm their commitment to the peace process and to a negotiated two-state solution respecting the parameters established by the international community.
- Iraq: The ministers will debate the situation and the resumption of dialogue between the federal government of Baghdad and the regional government of Kurdistan following the referendum of September 25. These efforts are in line with the EU’s new strategy for Iraq, which should be adopted in early 2018, to help the Iraqi authorities meet the post-Daesh challenges of national cohesion and reconstruction.
- G5 Sahel: The ministers will discuss the situation in the Sahel and European support, especially for the G5 Sahel Joint Force. This discussion will be attended by the foreign ministers of the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad).
- North Korea: Discussions will deal with the situation following the ballistic missile test of November 28 and possible measures the EU could take to respond to this threat.
- EU-African Union summit: In a joint format bringing together foreign affairs ministers and development ministers, the Council will review the results of the summit held in Abidjan on November 29 and 30. It helped launch a new dynamic to strengthen cooperation between the EU and the African Union in many areas (education, governance, migration, peace and security). The declaration adopted at the summit calls for concluding an action plan within three months to implement the agreed upon guidelines.
The Council will also adopt conclusions on the situation in Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the implementation of the EU’s action plan on gender equality, and the Bêkou Trust Fund for the Central African Republic. The Council’s decision establishing permanent structured cooperation on defense should also be endorsed on that occasion.