Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  The EU Foreign Ministers' Informal meeting (Gymnich) took place in Lappeenranta on 1-2 September 2006. I represented the UK.

  The agenda items were as follows:


  Discussions at the Gymnich affirmed the need to move forward the Middle East Peace Process, with Partners exchanging views on how the EU could best contribute. On Lebanon, External Relations Commissioner, Ferrero-Waldner reported on the Stockholm donors' conference on 31 August, noting that the Commission had pledged €118 million. Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of UNSCR 1701, including through a substantial European contribution to the UNIFIL force in Southern Lebanon.


  Ministers discussed Iran in the light of UNSCR 1696 and the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on 31 August on Iranian non-compliance. Ministers agreed to return to the issue at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 15 September and in the meantime expressed their support for the role of the High Representative, Javier Solana in Iran.


  Partners exchanged views on the options available to the EU in pursuing a long-term relationship with Russia, including a possible successor agreement to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia which runs until 2007.

8 September 2006

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