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Press Releases, 1/19/2018 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Foreign Minister Soini to Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Brussels on 22 January. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. The agenda of the year’s first FAC meeting covers the Middle East peace process, the situation in Libya, and the European Union’s relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific states in connection with the expiry of the present Cotonou Agreement in 2020.

The meeting will focus particularly on the Middle East peace process, the outlook for which has been affected by a number of recent events. In conjunction with the FAC meeting, discussions will also be held with President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. Finland emphasizes the need for the EU to be active and for united action to be taken to further the peace process.

Ministers will also discuss the advancement of the political process in Libya and the country’s migrant situation. The EU is continuing its robust support for Libya’s Government of National Accord and is acting in cooperation with the African Union and the United Nations to ease the country’s migrant and refugee situation, to promote voluntary return and to bring an end to people smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

The discussions at the meeting will also focus on a new agreement to be negotiated in connection with the 2020 expiry of the present Cotonou Agreement. The new agreement will deal with the post-2020 partnership arrangements between the EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states. Finland considers it timely that the focus of the partnership arrangements be moved away from a donor-recipient dynamic and towards cooperation based on common interests.

Inquiries: Katja Kalamäki, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351518 and Matti Nissinen, Counsellor, tel. +358 295 351 780.

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Updated 1/19/2018

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