European Union - Jean-Marc Ayrault’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, December 12, 2016)


Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, took part in the Foreign Affairs Council on December 12.

The discussions principally focused on:

  • Syria and the fight against Daesh: The discussions focused on the tragic humanitarian situation in Aleppo and on how the EU can support Staffan de Mistura’s efforts to find a political solution to the crisis; Jean-Marc Ayrault presented the results of the meeting of the group of like-minded countries to be held in Paris on December 10;
  • Migration: The discussions focused in particular on the new migration pacts with the five priority countries of Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal in preparation for the European Council on December 15;
  • Strategic relations between the EU and Africa. Certain aspects of the relationship between the EU and Africa should be examined in greater depth, including with respect to the fight against terrorism, trafficking and illegal migration, as well as with respect to joint initiatives in the economic field and in support of young people;
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo: The ministers took stock of developments in the situation as President Kabila’s term in office draws to a close (December 19), they expressed their support for the efforts to promote political dialogue and sent a message of firmness regarding respect for the Congolese constitution, the rule of law and human rights;
  • North Korea: the minister underscored the seriousness and dangerous nature of the behavior of the regime, which is continuing to conduct nuclear and ballistic tests.

On the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council, the ministers will sign:

  • the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba aimed at revitalizing relations between the EU and this country;
  • an agreement on the establishment of a trust fund in Colombia to support the peace process with the FARC, to which France will contribute.