Vienna, 14 October 2012 – State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka is to represent Austria in the Councils for Foreign Affairs, Development and General Affairs on Monday and Tuesday. A dinner of the EU Foreign Ministers and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in the framework of the Council will be given on Sunday evening.
“We are sending a clear signal in the name of European external affairs to our partners in the world: The EU is contributing its share to peace and security in the world. The Nobel Peace Prize is an important appreciation and motivation for the EU. We intend to examine the situation in Syria, Egypt and Libya in detail and envisage concrete measures, such as sanctions against the Syrian regime”, State Secretary Lopatka said.
There is also an unmistakable message for Iran: “We will not permit the Iranian regime to play for time. We do not see any readiness on the side of Iran to back down and consequently we are planning to tighten painful economic sanctions further. We do not want to cause any harm to the Iranian people but are aiming at the institutions involved in the country’s nuclear scheme with these measures”, the State Secretary said commenting on the sanctions.
The Foreign Affairs Council will also deal with the most recent elections in Belarus and Georgia.
The end of the Millennium Development Goals will be the main item on the agenda of the Development Council on Monday afternoon. “It is important for Austria that the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the outcome of Rio +20, the Sustainable Development Goals build upon each other and are coherent. Duplication must be avoided by all possible means.” The State Secretary is also going to campaign for better harmonisation and coordination of the EU development policy.
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