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Press Release
Jean Asselborn: "EU-US talks focused on summit preparations, Middle East, Iraq and Sudan"

Date of release : 02-06-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EU-USA Ministerial Troika meeting

Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and current President of the Council of the European Union, met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington D.C. on 2 June 2005 as part of a Ministerial Troika Meeting between the United States and the European Union.

On the European Union side, Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council and High Representative for the CFSP, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Commissioner in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, also took part in the meeting.

The talks focused on the preparations of the forthcoming summit meeting between the European Union and the United States, which is due to take place on 20 June 2005 in Washington. The two parties also discussed the broader situation in the Middle East, the Iraeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran, Iraq, East Asia, Sudan and relations with Russia.

At the close of the Ministerial Meeting, Jean Asselborn made the following statement:

"I am very happy to be here in Washington for the second EU–US Ministerial meeting during Luxembourg's Presidency of the European Union. As you might remember, I had the pleasure of receiving Dr. Rice in Luxembourg on 10 February this year.

Our meeting today was a very fruitful one. We focused on ongoing preparations for the EU–US Summit, which will take place here in Washington on 20 June. Dr. Rice, Javier Solana, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and I had good discussions in view of this summit, and addressed a number of issues that are high on the EU–US agenda these days. 

The Middle East region was another central theme during our talks. In particular, we exchanged views on recent developments in Lebanon, that is, on the ongoing legislative elections and on the state of implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which must be full and complete. We explored ways in which the EU and the US can support the Lebanese government after the elections.

As you are aware, the EU and the US will organize jointly a Conference on Iraq on 22 June in Brussels. During our meeting today, we spoke about the preparations for that Conference, which are well on track. The Conference will be a prime opportunity for the Iraqi Transitional Authority to present its strategy and priorities to the international community, and for all of us to reiterate our continuing commitment to a safe, stable, unified, prosperous and democratic Iraq – an Iraq that upholds human rights, fully exercises its sovereignty and cooperates constructively with its neighbours and with the international community. The Conference will also allow us to explore ideas for a better donor coordination in Iraq.

Finally, we also focused on the situation in Sudan and Darfur during our discussions. At the Addis Ababa Pledging Conference of 26 May, the EU presented a consolidated package of additional support for the African Union Mission in Darfur, agreed upon by the EU Council of Ministers a few days earlier. This comprehensive package includes logistical, financial and technical support, in areas such as police, airlift or planning and training.

Darfur, however, must be seen in the broader context of the need to resolve conflicts in the whole of Sudan. We very much welcome the new phase that has begun with the launching of the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement, supported by the United Nations Mission to Sudan, the Oslo Donor conference and the UN Security Council Resolution of March. The process of implementing the peace agreement must be broad and inclusive, and it is the responsibility of the Sudanese authorities as well as of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army to complete this process."

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This page was last modified on : 02-06-2005

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