Deutsche Welle 19.01.2015
EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the regional terror threat, in the wake of attacks in Paris, raids in Belgium, and anti-Islam demonstrations in Germany. Ties with Russia are also in focus.
The ministers were set to discuss the threat of terrorism in Europe, and discuss ways to better cooperate in dealing with radicalized Europeans returning home after fighting in Iraq and Syria.
The Monday talks follow the recent deadly attacks in Paris which killed 17, the uncovering of a jihadist cell in Belgium - the suspected mastermind of which is still at large - and German authorities banning Monday's planned anti-Islam rally in the eastern city of Dresden after a terror threat.
One of the main items will also be a review of relations in Russia, under heavy strain over the Ukraine crisis. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has circulated a discussion paper asking ministers to consider "possible elements for selective and gradual re-engagement" with Moscow.
It suggests making a distinction "between the Crimea-related sanctions and sanctions related to the destabilization of eastern Ukraine." But one unnamed EU diplomatic source, quoted by news agency AFP, said there were fears this wording came close to a tacit acceptance of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.
In September last year, the government in Kyiv and pro-Russia separatists signed an agreement in Minsk, which seeks to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Some 4,800 people have died in the violence.
In early January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said European sanctions against Russia could only be eased with the full implementation of the Minsk accord.
EU foreign ministers to discuss terror attacks, Russia ties