Press release 31/2013
30 January 2013
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will convene in Brussels on 31 January. The topics on the meeting agenda will include Mali, the EU Southern Neighbourhood, the relations between the EU and the United States, the Middle East peace process, Arctic cooperation, and Somalia and the Horn of Africa. The results of the EU-Russia summit, and the summit betweeen the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean will be discussed briefly. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will represent Finland in the meeting.
The debate about Mali will concern the current situation in the country and EU action. The EU is preparing to launch a military training mission in Mali. In addition, the EU will appoint a special representative to address the issues related to the Sahel region.
As regards the Southern Neighbourhood, the main topic will be the EU’s response to the Arab Spring, which will also be one of the topics on the European Council agenda next week. The Ministers will also discuss the latest situation in Syria.
Furthermore, the Foreign Affairs Council will address the relations between the EU and the US and estimate their development during President Barack Obama’s new term of office in relation to, for example, climate issues and the situation in the Middle East.
Arctic cooperation will also be discussed at the council. The focus will be on the review of the Communication of the European Commission and the European External Action Service issued last year and the observer status the EU is seeking in the Arctic Council.
In connection with the council, the foreign ministers will have a lunch meeting with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud. The topic of discussion in this meeting will be the current situation in both Somalia and the entire Horn of Africa region.
Additional information: Tarja Fernández, European Correspondent, tel. +358 40 590 9855; and Susanna Parkkonen, Press Attaché to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 50 377 5601