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Situation au Moyen-Orient - Agenda de la réunion de Gymnich - Communiqué de presse de la Présidence de l'UE/Document non produit par l'ONU Français
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Source: European Union (EU)
30 August 2006

Middle East and Russia on the agenda of the informal EU foreign minister meeting

30 Aug 2006, 17:07 en fr fi sv

Press release 330/2006

The EU Foreign Ministers will convene for the so-called Gymnich meeting, the informal gathering of Ministers for Foreign Affairs during the Finnish Presidency, in Lappeenranta on 1-2 September. The venue of the meeting is the historical site of the Lappeenranta Fortress.

Finland's objective is that the meeting focus on a few current questions that are of major interest to the EU. There will not be any outside keynote speakers or guests in this Gymnich meeting. The invited participants in the meeting are Foreign Ministers from the EU Member States and acceding countries, High Representative Javier Solana, and Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

In light of the current international situation and the goals set for the Finnish Presidency, the meeting will focus on the situation in the Middle East, Iran, and Russia.

The first day of the meeting will be devoted to the situation in the Middle East. The discussion over lunch will concentrate on assessing the situation in the region, particularly from the point of view of the relations between Israel and Lebanon and the relations between Israel and the Palestinians. The theme of the afternoon working session will be the future of the Middle East peace process. The EU has emphasised its commitment to the promotion of a comprehensive peace process as well as co-operation with different parties in order to further this goal. The recent events also give a good reason for a thorough debate about the elements of future action.

At the beginning of the second day, the problems related to Iran's nuclear programme will be discussed on the basis of a situation analysis made by High Representative Javier Solana.

Issues related to Russia will be discussed in two sessions. At first, the intention is to exchange views of the options and means available to the EU to influence development in Russia over a longer time span, and to analyse the future trends of the internal situation in Russia and its foreign policy. After this, the topic of discussion will be the current agreements between the EU and Russia. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will give a keynote address on this issue.

There will be special programme arranged in Lappeenranta and its vicinity for the ministers' partners as well as for the representatives of the media. They have, for instance, an opportunity to get familiar with the border control arrangements at the border between Finland and Russia, and to visit local industries.

The name of the Gymnich meeting derives from the first informal meeting of the EC foreign ministers, organised in the castle of Gymnich outside of Bonn, in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974.

Further information: Director General Petri Tuomi-Nikula, Department for Communication and Culture, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. 09 1605 5800, and Head of the Unit for European Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Correspondent Jarno Syrjälä, tel. 09 1605 5026

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