Story title Foreign Affairs Council - July 2013
Story description

The Foreign Affairs Council takes place on 22 July 2013 in Brussels.

Video title Arrival and doorstep UK (Hague)
Video description

Arrival and doorstep by William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, before the Foreign Affairs Council, on 22 July 2013 in Brussels.

Reference 99954 Video infos Mpg4 / PAL - 16:9 Duration 00:06:33 Type News package
Shooting date 22-07-2013 Country Belgium Town Brussels    
Background

The Council, chaired by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, examines the situation in the EU’s Southern neighbourhood, focusing on recent developments in Syria and Egypt. During lunch, ministers will also debate the Middle East peace process.
The Council discusses issues concerning the Great Lakes region, including the Democratic
Republic of Congo. It also examines the situation in Somalia, with a view to the “New Deal for Somalia Conference”, which is to take place in Brussels on 16 September.

In addition, the Council discusses water security, on the basis of a mapping exercise that was launched at the end of 2012 with the participation of the EU and member states. It sets out actions by the EU and its member states on regional and trans-boundary water security challenges around the world.

The Council also takes note of the state of play on the implementation of the EU strategic framework and action plan on human rights, which sets out the EU’s policy for promoting human rights in its external relations, integrating it into all EU policies in this field, including trade, investment, development cooperation and counter-terrorism.

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Arrival of William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom

Keywords : Hague Duration : 00:00:09

00:00:09

SOUNDBITE (English) William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom

A high priority of the United Kingdom in this meeting today is the designation of the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by the EU, this is something that we proposed last month, it is a year since the terrible bomb attack in Bulgaria and we believe it is very important when there is a terrorist attack on European soil Europe gives a clear response on that. A designation would also make it easier for us to work together in the face of futher terrorist threats and send a very clear message to Hezbollah and others. We will also be discussing the Middle East peace process and the progress that has been made in recent days. I called Secretary Kerry this weekend to congratulate him on an important step forward in bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to direct negotiations. It is important that the UK and the EU as a whole is ready to support those negotiations at every stage and to show Israelis and Palestinians there are great potential benefits for all of them in relation to the whole of Europe in bringing about successful negotiations on the final status issues. I know we will be discussing Egypt and there it is important that the democratic transition of Egypt succeeds. That means working with the new authorities but it also means that those who have been detained from the previous government should be released to take part in the democratic politics unless there are criminal charges to be made against them.

Keywords : Egypt | Middle East | Hezbollah Duration : 00:01:54

00:02:03

SOUNDBITE (English) William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom

We recognize states, not governments, we continue to recognize the Arab Republic of Egypt and we deal with whoever is the government in Egypt. It is very important for the people of Egypt that we do that, for the future of their economy, for our security cooperation. I said the UK does not support military interventions into democratic processes and that is a dangerous precedent for the future. We have to work with the authorities there and we have to continue to keep up this message and this pressure for an inclusive democratic transition in which the Muslim Brotherhood are not driven out of democratic politics.

Keywords : Egypt Duration : 00:01:10

00:03:13

SOUNDBITE (English) William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom

The great majority of member states support designation, we will have to have a further discussion about it among the ministers. We do not believe that this will adversely affect the stability of Lebanon and indeed the UK is doing a lot to support the stability of Lebanon, we are helping to fund the Lebanese armed forces, we do not believe that this action would destabilize Lebanon or have serious, adverse consequences. It is important to show that we are united and strong in facing terrorism and that is important in Lebanon as everywhere else.

Keywords : Hezbollah Duration : 00:00:56

00:04:09

SOUNDBITE (English) William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom

I do not think there will be new decisions about Syria, we will discuss the situation in Syria which has continued to deteriorate. Priorities for the UK are humanitarian assistance on which we are the biggest contributors in Europe, to give practical help to the opposition that helps to save lives, I announced the sending of escape hoods from chemical attacks and chemical detection equipment to the national coalition opposition last week and to promote a political solution.

Keywords : Syria Duration : 00:00:44

00:04:53

SOUNDBITE (English) William HAGUE, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom

We are not taking any step back on Syria, we are sending practical help to the opposition, I made clear when we came here and lifted the arms embargo that it did not mean there was any decision at this stage and there was no imminent decision on this by the UK. We have made clear in lifting the arms embargo that there is no moral equivalence between a regime killing its people and the national coalition. I made clear at the time that the UK was not making an immediate decision about that, we concentrate on a political solution, humanitarian support and help to the opposition, help save lives. On Lebanon, we do believe it is important to designate the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization based on the evidence of terrorist activity in Europe, in Bulgaria a year ago. I think the majority of member states are in support but we will have to have a discussion about it later. We do not believe it has an adverse effect on the stability of Lebanon, the UK is trying a lot to help the stability, but when a terrorist attack takes place on European soil, there have to be consequences, Europe has to recognize that and be strong together about that.

Keywords : Syria | Lebanon Duration : 00:01:39

00:06:32

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