» Wednesday, December 13, 2006

European Council

The PMOS said discussion would focus on enlargement, migration, ongoing work on climate change and energy, which would be taken on by the German Presidency. Foreign Ministers would discuss the Middle East and Africa, including Darfur. The Government expects the council to reaffirm its commitment to enlargement as a strategic goal, and it is obviously right that countries meet all the criteria, taking into account the experience of enlargement. However, we did not see any need for any new criteria. In terms of Turkey the issue there seems to have been resolved in the short term by the General Affairs Council. Therefore we did not see it being a big issue for this council but we remained fully committed to Turkish membership. The reasons why would form a large backdrop to the Prime Minister’s visit to the Middle East in that we believed it was important we align ourselves with modern Muslim countries and bring them into the effort to move forward, particularly on the Palestine-Israel issue but also on the Middle East as a whole. Asked whether immigration would be on the agenda, the PMOS said that migration issues were a recurring item discussed at EU meetings. The issue was about cooperation between countries, as well as the overall implications of migration.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

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