EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Belarus, Iraq and Latin America

EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Belarus, Iraq and Latin America

EU Foreign Ministers will convene in Luxembourg on Monday 21 June. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics on the agenda are Belarus, Iraq and Latin America. The Foreign Ministers will also exchange views with Minister Fuad Hussein, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, and the Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. The current affairs to be discussed include Russia, Yemen, the Middle East Peace Process and relations between the EU and Turkey.

The Foreign Ministers will exchange views on the deteriorating situation in Belarus and how the EU should respond to it. Finland is deeply worried about the situation in the country and supports a gradual expansion of the sanctions against Belarus. At the same time, Finland supports the Commission’s support package that could be deployed if progress is made in the country’s democratic transition.

The Foreign Ministers will also discuss the current situation in Iraq and have an informal exchange with the Foreign Minister of Iraq Fuad Hussein during a working lunch. The topics likely to be raised include the parliamentary elections in Iraq in October, fragile security situation in the country, slow progress in rebuilding and weak economic situation, and regional tensions. Finland considers that the stability and democratic development of Iraq is in the interest of the whole Europe, which is why the EU must be an active player in the country. One way to do this would be to participate in the observation of the parliamentary elections in October. 

With respect to Latin America, Finland stresses the importance of solidarity in view of the COVID-19 situation; the pandemic has hit the countries in the region very hard, which is why it is important, for example, to supply vaccines to them. In cooperation with Latin American countries it is important to stress human rights, the rule of law, good governance and gender equality. 

The current affairs to be discussed by the Foreign Ministers include Russia, relations between the EU and Turkey, Yemen and the progress of the Middle East Peace Process. 

Inquiries:
Turo Mattila, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 613
Anna-Mari Wong Hämäläinen, Deputy European Correspondent, tel. +358 295 350 498