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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union
6 May 2004

Remarks by Minister Cowen at Euro - Mediterranean Foreign Ministers Meeting
Date: 6 May 2004
Policy Area: General Affairs and External Relations
Content Type: Press Releases

A Mid Term Ministerial Meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers concluded today in Dublin Castle, Ireland. A closing Presidency Press conference was attended by the President of the European Council, Mr. Brian Cowen, EU Commissioner for External Relations, Mr. Chris Patten and Mr. Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign Security Policy. At the press conference, Minister Cowen made the following remarks.

"This has been a very useful and constructive meeting.

The importance of the Euromed Process is that it brings together the countries of Europe and the Mediterranean and provides a unique opportunity for Foreign Ministers to discuss issues of concern.

It also provides an important opportunity for bilateral contacts in a neutral setting for the representatives of countries which have difficult bilateral relations and would not be in contact at other venues.

The meetings as you aware are structured into three chapters; political, economic and social.

We discussed the Middle East Process. The Presidency reported on the outcome of the recent meeting of the Quartet in New York. Ministers, if you look at the Council conclusions, stressed the central importance of the Roadmap. They discussed the need for a reciprocal ceasefire. They considered the measures to renew the peace process which had been identified in the Quartet Statement and urged the parties to resume negotiations.

We discussed the EU's proposed European Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean and Middle East. The meeting provided a welcome opportunity for consultation between the EU and the regional partners on their vision for the development of this partnership. The EU will continue to avail of such opportunities for consultation in coming weeks, including the forthcoming Ministerial meeting with the GCC later this month.

We also discussed the situation in Iraq. Ministers agreed on the need for a forward looking approach to the future of Iraq, and considered ways in which they could assist the transition to a sovereign democratic government. There were assurances from the UK that the UK authorities and the US would deal firmly with instances of abuse and address the circumstances which had given rise to such cases.

We also made a decision to establish what would be called, the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures and Civilisations. I am delighted to say that the Ministers have today agreed that the seat of the Foundation will be in Alexandria."


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