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EU foreign ministers call for relaunch of Syria peace talks

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EU foreign ministers call for relaunch of Syria peace talks

Federica Mogherini - Photo EU Council

(LUXEMBOURG) - The parties involved in the Syrian conflict need to relaunch a political solution in the framework of the UN-led Geneva process, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said at a Council meeting Monday.

At their meeting, EU foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in Syria, including the aftermath to the targeted US, French and UK air strikes on chemical weapons facilities.

Ahead of an upcoming Brussels II conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region', the Council conclusions condemned "persistent and brutal violations of international law, including abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, by all parties as well as the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and by Da'esh."

"The only way to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people is to put all the pressure that we can on the parties, in particular the Syrian regime, to come to Geneva with a genuine intention to negotiate," said Ms Mogherini at the press conference after the meeting: "Pressure needs to be exerted - otherwise the pattern of destruction will simply continue."

At the meeting, ministers also confirmed the EU's policy towards Russia, highlighting 'hybrid threats, including Russian disinformation campaigns. In the aftermath of the Salisbury attack and following-up on the European Council conclusions, foreign ministers highlighted the need to strengthen the resilience of the EU and its neighbours against Russian threats.

Foreign ministers unanimously reconfirmed the relevance of the five guiding principles agreed in March 2016 for the EU's policy towards Russia. These, they say, 'provide a flexible framework for EU relations with Russia, allowing firmness on EU values and selective engagement where there is a clear EU interest'.

The Council discussed Iran. Ministers reiterated their full unity for the continuing implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). They encouraged the diplomatic efforts being made to ensure that there continues to be a strong commitment of all parties involved to the agreement.

Outcome of the Council meeting

Syria: Council adopts conclusions, 16/04/2018

EU restrictive measures against Iran (background information)


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