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EU’s Foreign Affairs Council discusses migration

A joint session between foreign and interior ministers discussed migration issues, following recent events in the Mediterranean. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said: “Today, we gave a strong EU reaction to the tragedies we have seen in the last few days. We need to act fast and act together.”

Ministers agreed to reinforce the fight against trafficking of human beings, to strengthen EU action to save lives at sea as well as enhance support for countries on the front line, by sharing the resettlement of refugees. In addition, diplomatic action will be undertaken to do more to resolve the root causes of migration, including conflicts, poverty and human rights violations. Rihards Kozlovskis, Latvian Minister for Interior, commented: “As the Presidency we are committed to facilitate the implementation of both the measures identified today and the upcoming European Agenda on Migration.”

With much of the migration flows passing through Libya, foreign ministers also took stock of the situation in that country and possible EU support to the formation of a national unity government.

The Council also held a strategic debate on EU relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. Ministers highlighted the strategic nature of the partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean as well as solid economic relations. The EU is keen to develop new, innovative ways of cooperating with the states of the region, key allies in the search for multilateral solutions to common global challenges.

Finally, the Council voiced serious concern with the rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen. It recalled that ultimately the solution to this crisis must be a political one, joining the international community’s call for an inclusive political process. The Council also urged all sides to give unrestricted access to humanitarian aid relief so that vital assistance can be delivered immediately.

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