The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/20annonce-cagre/
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General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 23-24 May
The General Affairs and External Relations Council will meet in Brussels on 23-24 May. Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and President in office of the Council will chair the meeting.
In the morning, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs will be joined by the Ministers for Defence for an exchange of views on the European Security and Defence Policy: military capabilities, rapid intervention and the European Defence Agency.
Ministers will then examine general affairs items. They will discuss preparations for the European Council of 16-17 June.
The External relations session will focus on preparations for the Euro-Mediterranean meeting of 30-31 May, the situation in the Middle East, Sudan, Burundi, Uzbekistan and the EU Action Plan for the countries affected by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
On 24 May, the Council will conclude with a discussion of international development topics: preparations of the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals in September 2005, the fight against infectious diseases and a review of the Statement on Development Cooperation.
Ahead of the Council meeting, an informal Conclave of Foreign Ministers will take place in the evening of 22 May to discuss the financial framework of the European Union for the period 2007-2013.
On the margins of the Council, Ministers for Defence will gather on 23 May for a meeting of the Steering Committee of the European Defence Agency.