I attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 11 November, where Ministers discussed Afghanistan, regional security in the Gulf and Iran, and exchanged views with the Prime Minister of Sudan over lunch. The Council also adopted a framework for restrictive measures on unauthorised drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean.
My EU colleagues and I took stock of the situation in Afghanistan following the Presidential elections which took place in September. There was a broad agreement in relation to the need for a political solution in the country and on the importance of an inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.
Following this, the Council discussed regional security in the Gulf and Iran. I expressed Ireland’s concern regarding Iran’s latest breaches of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). I reiterated Ireland’s position as a strong supporter of the JCPOA and urged Iran to return to full compliance without delay. With regard to the wider regional situation there was broad consensus on the need to support regionally-owned and regionally anchored initiatives to reduce tensions.
Lastly, EU Foreign Ministers heard from the Sudanese Prime Minister on his priorities for the country, and reaffirmed our commitment to support the civilian-led political transition in Sudan.