Among the major topics of the latest EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, which was held in Brussels earlier this week, were the fight against ISIL and the situation in Iraq and Syria. In the margins of the meeting, the first EU-Ukraine Association Council was held as well. The EU Foreign Council reiterated its support to Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, in his efforts to create space for a broader political process. The EU said it was ready to cooperate with all the players in order to come up with a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. More specifically, Brussels pledged to support plans to freeze hostilities especially in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria having been home to an ongoing military confrontation since 2012. The EU also promised to increase its humanitarian assistance to the strife-torn country.
The EU is generally committed to the main objective that is still a Syrian-led process leading to a transition, which would meet aspirations of all the Syrian people. The process should be based on the Geneva communiqué of June 2012 as well as be in line with relevant UN resolutions. The ministers also confirmed that the block would continue its policy of targeting the regime and its supporters as long as repression continues. Regarding the situation in Iraq, EU ministers promised to support the country’s introduction of inclusive policies and reconciliation efforts. The agenda of the Council meeting as well as the outcome of the discussions will be used in an EU comprehensive regional strategy on Syria and Iraq and on the ISIL.