Foreign Minister Urmas Paet is participating in a session of the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels today, 25 January, where the topic of discussion will be the programme for Spain’s presidency and the European Union’s activities in resolving international sticking points.
Within the general affairs session, the programme for Spain’s European Union presidency will be presented to the foreign ministers The programme is a part of the 18-month joint plan for the presidency trio of Spain, Belgium and Hungary. Estonia’s focuses during Spain’s presidency are joining the euro zone, establishing the European Union’s IT agency for justice and home affairs and being a candidate for its location, the strategy “European Union 2020”, implementing the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, and developing European Neighbourhood Policy Eastern Partnership.
In the external relations portion, the European Union foreign policy leaders will discuss the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Somalia, and Yemen, as well as matters related to offering aid in Haiti. Last week an extraordinary meeting of the development ministers of the European Union was held in Brussels on the topic of helping Haiti and they confirmed that the aid from the European Union would total 122 million EUR. “Co-ordinated contributions are still needed to alleviate the aftermath of the catastrophe in Haiti. Estonia sees the UN taking the leading role in co-ordinating aid,” said Paet. “We must quickly find opportunities to start supporting long-term reconstruction and restoration work in Haiti as well,” he added.
Another topic of discussion will be the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The council will focus on the Afghanistan conference taking place later this week in London on 28 January and will discuss the current status of the implementation plan for the European Union action plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Paet Participating in Meeting with European Union Colleagues