On 5-6 July 2018, the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Andris Pelšs, took part in the Meeting of Political Directors of the European Union Member States in Vienna and Furth bei Göttweig, Austria. The meeting addressed the issues of current importance for the EU’s common foreign and security policy, including relationship with the United States of America, the Western Balkans, and Iran. Political directors also exchanged views on EU foreign policy priorities during the Austrian Presidency in the first half of 2018.
Political directors expressed support for the priorities set by the Presidency: to develop cooperation with the six Western Balkans countries, and to strengthen relationship with the Eastern Partnership countries.
A discussion on relationship with the United States of America took place in the presence of Stephen Mull, Acting Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Andris Pelšs called for the strengthening of the transatlantic link, in view of the major role played by the EU and the U.S. in ensuring stability worldwide.
Concerning Iran, the participants of the meeting reiterated the EU’s common position on the retention and implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), this agreement being a key instrument in restricting Iran’s nuclear programme and ensuring security in the Middle East. Andris Pelšs underlined that an agreement with Iran on those matters could not be achieved without U.S. involvement.
Informal meetings of EU Political Directors are organized once in a half-year by the EU Council Presidency, which from 1 July 2018 is held by Austria.
The priorities of the Austrian Presidency in foreign policy and security policy envisage promotion of security and stability in the European neighbourhood, including through EU perspective for the Western Balkans; developing the Eastern Partnership; strengthening the common security and defence policy; and dealing with consequences of illegal migration. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the strengthening of relationship between the EU and Asia and promoting an effective and rules-based multilateral order.
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