The day's roundtable discussions commenced at 9.30 and focused specifically on the EU's relationship with Turkey and the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Turkey is an important country for the EU with whom we would wish to see our relations strengthened and developing,” said High Representative Josep Borrell, who chaired the meeting. “This should be done in respect of EU values, principles and interests. At the same time there are worrying developments, in particular in the Eastern Mediterranean and regarding Libya, that affect the EU’s interests.”
The foreign affairs ministers called for an end to Turkey's unilateral actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, such as its drilling activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, which run counter to EU interests, member states' sovereign rights and international law.
“We need a dialogue with Turkey,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. “But concerning the drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, we have clear expectations for positive signals from Turkey. Today, we reiterated our full support for High Representative Josep Borrell in his talks with Turkey.”
Supporting Latin America and the Caribbean
EU foreign affairs ministers also reviewed recent international developments and the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Revitalising the EU's political engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean is critical to supporting the region as it battles the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign affairs ministers concluded. The entry into force of national security legislation in Hong Kong also concerned the EU's foreign affairs ministers, who underscored that their support for Hong Kong's economy may impact the Union's relations with mainland China.
The Foreign Affairs Council is responsible for the EU's external actions, which includes foreign, defence and security policy, as well as trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid.