The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union will hold a special but informal meeting in Brussels on Sunday evening to discuss the recent developments in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries in the region, a senior EU official told journalists Friday.
“Ministers will hold an in-depth political discussion on Sunday evening on Egypt and political developments in the region ahead of the High Representative’s (Ashton) visit to Cairo on Tuesday but no conclusions are expected,” said the official requesting anonymity.
“I am sure that besides Egypt and Tunisia some EU ministers will raise the developments in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya,” he said.
Ashton will be the first high-ranking foreign official to visit Cairo after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, he noted adding that for the moment there are no plans for Ashton to visit either Bahrian or Yemen.
At their formal monthly session on Monday, the EU foreign ministers will discuss the EU support for relationships with Egypt and Tunisia and also talk about the Middle East Peace Process.
Ashton will brief the ministers of the 27-member bloc on her recent visit to the Middle East which included the Occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon.
On the freezing of assets of senior Egyptian officials, the EU official said “we are still waiting for the names and the list from the Egyptian officials.
“We need an accurate list and legal experts need to have a closer look at it” he added.
Other issues on the agenda include Iran, the EU strategies on Sahel and the Horn of Africa and EU policy on Bonsia and Herzegovina.
The Netherlands has requested a discussion on the human rights situation in Iran following the recent execution in Iran of a Dutch-Iranian national on charges of drug smuggling.
“The Netherlands has asked for EU solidarity and measures on Iran are being discussed,” said the official without elaborating.
The EU also condemns the recent detention of a Spanish diplomat in Tehran, he added.
On Tunisia, he said he EU has pledged 250 million euro in aid by 2013 and 17 million euro in immediate assistance for the holding of elections.
On Tuesday, the EU-Israel Association Council will take place in Brussels. (end) nk.ajs KUNA 181439 Feb 11NNNN