Plassnik and Winkler at General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels
General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels
Vienna, 24 February 2006 - Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik will attend the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council on Monday, 27 February 2006 in Brussels in her function as Presidency, together with State Secretary Hans Winkler.
In the session on general affairs, the main theme will be the preparation of the spring European Council and the negotiations with the European Parliament on the Financial Perspective.
In the session on external affairs, the Foreign Ministers will discuss relations with the Western Balkans, particularly in view of the independence referendum in Montenegro, and the situation in Kosovo after the decentralisation talks in Vienna. A discussion of the situation in Iraq following the publication of the results of the parliamentary elections in December 2005 and the bombing of the Imam Ali-Hadi Mosque in Samarra is also planned.
In addition, the Foreign Ministers will examine the situation following the publication of the controversial Mohammed cartoons and discuss de-escalation measures. Other topics include the situation in the Middle East against the background of the newly constituted Palestinian parliament and the negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue.
A Troika meeting at Foreign Minister level will be held with Serbia and Montenegro in the margins of the Council, at which in particular the negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement will be discussed.
Foreign Minister Plassnik will also meet with the Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey to sign the memorandum on Switzerland’s financial contribution to the ten new Member States of the EU. On this occasion, Plassnik will also present the notification instruments for four agreements of the Bilateral II package with Switzerland.
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