Côte d'Ivoire and Libya on top of the agenda
High Representative Catherine Ashton meets the press
© European Union 2011
The situation in Côte d'Ivoire following the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo and the continuing crisis in Libya was discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on 12 April.
The Council welcomed President Outtara's announcement that he intends to pursue a policy of reconciliation and reconstruction in Côte d'Ivoire. The EU is ready to support the re-launch of the economy and will resume its development assistance programmes as soon as possible. It already lifted the assets freeze on the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, the Ivorian Refining Company and the Coffee and Cocoa Trade Management Committee last Friday.
Concerning Libya, the Council called for an immediate ceasefire and respect for human rights. Those working within the regime face a choice: to continue to associate themselves with the brutal repression of Colonel Gaddafi or to work for an orderly transition to democracy.
The humanitarian situation in the country and on its borders gives cause for deep concern. There is a serious risk that conditions will deteriorate further due to displacements and migrations, if the conflict continues. To help alleviate this situation, the EU is preparing an operation "EUFOR Libya" to support humanitarian assistance in the region, if requested by the UN. The EU has appointed an Operation Commander and designated an operational headquarters in Rome.
Faced with rising numbers of refugees arriving on its southern shores, the EU is ready to show concrete solidarity with the member states that are most directly affected.
The Council adopted further sanctions against the regime and will continue to deprive Gaddafi's regime completely of all funding derived from oil and gas exports.
Ministers met Mr. Mahmud Jibril from the opposition's Transitional National Council for an informal exchange of views.
Council conclusions on Côte d'Ivoire (pdf)
Council conclusions on Libya (pdf)
Press conference webcast