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6 December 2012
Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council
06 December 2012
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington has updated parliament on the Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council in a Written Ministerial Statement.
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said:
My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 10 December, and I will attend the General Affairs Council (GAC) on 11 December in Brussels. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, and the General Affairs Council will be chaired by the Cypriot Presidency.
Foreign Affairs Council
Middle East Peace Process
The discussions on the Middle East Peace Process will focus on follow-up to the 29 November UN General Assembly Resolution, including the EU’s response to the Israeli decisions to build 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, to unfreeze planning in the area known as E1 and to withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority. EU Ministers will also discuss facilitating a rapid return to credible negotiations in order to secure a two-state solution. We will reiterate our condemnation of the Israeli decision, underlining the threat this poses to the two-state solution, and stress the need to continue work to build on the May FAC conclusions. We will also emphasise the need for the US, with the strong and active support of the EU, to do all it can in the coming weeks and months to take a decisive lead and push the peace process forward urgently. Additionally the UK will stress the need to build on the Gaza ceasefire and to address the underlying causes of the conflict including more open access to and from Gaza for trade as well as humanitarian assistance, and an end to the smuggling of weapons. The UK will support conclusions covering these points.