STOCKHOLM, Sweden, February 6, 2014 – Events in Ukraine will again be in focus when EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on 10 February. They will also discuss the situation in Egypt. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will take part in the meeting.
The EU’s continued efforts in the Eastern Partnership will also be discussed, in the light of the Vilnius Summit in November and the EU-Russia meeting in January. The main focus of the meeting will be on Ukraine, in view of the latest developments there.
The Swedish Government considers that the EU should continue to stand firm in developing the Eastern Partnership. The EU should emphasise the demands of human rights. All forms of violence against the civilian population must cease immediately and democratic rights must be respected. It is up to the people of Ukraine to decide on their own future. A sustainable political settlement can only be reached through talks between the President and the opposition.
The referendum in Egypt on amending the Constitution has resulted in violence and a repressive climate. The vote was carried out in conditions that failed to meet democratic standards.
In the increasingly tough political climate, the Swedish Government calls for a fair and transparent process ahead of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. Further efforts should be made to promote a democracy in which critical voices and independent reporting are permitted.
At their meeting, the foreign ministers are also expected to discuss developments in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
A press conference with Mr Bildt is planned following the meeting on 10 February.