Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels

Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union will meet on Monday 15 July in Brussels. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The FAC will discuss the situation in Iraq, Iran and the Central African Republic. The external dimension of migration will also be on the agenda. There will also be an informal lunch with the new Moldovan Foreign Minister.

With regard to Iran, topical issues will be discussed, especially in the light of recent worrying events. The regional situation is explosive, and all parties should now focus on easing it. The future of the Iranian nuclear programme agreement, JCPOA, will also be addressed, and Iran will be encouraged to comply with it. The ministers will discuss the special payment channel INSTEX, which has been set up to support the nuclear programme agreement by facilitating trade in certain products important for the wellbeing of the Iranian people. Finland, for its part, is looking at the question of joining INSTEX.

Another topic for debate will be the current situation in Iraq. The mounting tension in the Gulf region is strongly reflected in Iraq, although the country’s internal situation has stabilised. Iraq needs EU support for reforms and reconstruction. Migration issues will also be addressed by EU ministers. As for the Central African Republic, EU support for the implementation of the peace agreement signed in February will be under discussion. The country still being in a very fragile state, the development brought about by the agreement should not be lost.

The FAC meeting will also provide Minister Pekka Haavisto with an opportunity to present the priorities of the Finnish Presidency in the field of foreign and security policy. Finland's objective is to achieve a strong and united EU that works effectively in its external relations and acts as a security provider for its citizens. Finland will fully support the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in strengthening the external action of the EU.

“One of Finland's objectives is to enhance EU participation in conflict prevention and mediation, to prevent and combat hybrid threats, to strengthen the EU Arctic policy and to put climate change mitigation at the core of such policy. Finland also strives to ensure that respect for international law and the promotion of universal human rights, democracy and the rule of law will be at the forefront of the entire external action of the Union,” Haavisto says. Read more about Finland’s priorities

Minister Haavisto will moreover give a report to the Foreign Affairs Council on the situation in Sudan. He visited the region on 10–11 July 2019 at the request of High Representative Federica Mogherini.

Inquiries: Miia Rainne, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 421, and Matti Nissinen, European Correspondent, tel. +358 295 351 780.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format