Foreign Ministers from around Europe will meet on Thursday 1st December to discuss strengthening sanctions against Syria and Iran. A United Nations report on Syria has claimed more than 3,000 civilian deaths since anti-government protests began. Likewise, a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency pointed to scant evidence from Iran as a “worrying” sign that the country might be developing a nuclear weapon.
The Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels will also discuss issues such as democratic transition in Egypt and the Two-State Solution in Palestine / Israel. Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt has confirmed that he will be attending along with other big hitters such as William Hague, who this week closed the Iranian Embassy in London following an attack on the UK embassy in Tehran.
European Defence Ministers met on Wednesday 30th November to discuss related issues. They were directed by the President of the Foreign Affairs Council, Catherine Ashton, the former Labour politician from the UK who served in the House of Lords as Baroness Ashton of Upholland. Items discussed included Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EUNAVFOR Atalanta counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia, and the EU Training Mission for Somali forces. The latest developments in Libya were also discussed.