In Brussels, Eu Foreign Ministers Discussed Situation In The Western Balkans And Central Asia

Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis attended the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting, during which issues of Sudan and Iran, the Middle East peace process, the situation in the Western Balkans and Central Asia, and relations with the EU's strategic partners - India and Brazil – were discussed.

The EU foreign ministers also discussed the EU's actions following the publication of the advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice on the declaration of Kosovo’s independence. On 22 July, the Court ruled that the declaration of Kosovo’s independence was not a violation of international law.

Minister A.Ažubalis welcomed the publication of the advisory opinion of the Court and highlighted that in the Western Balkans key attention had to be dedicated to regional cooperation, stability and closer relations with the EU. According to the Minister, the EU had to send a strong signal to Kosovo and Serbia, inviting these countries to open a dialogue with each other.

According to the head of Lithuania’s diplomacy, facts and arguments based on the international law showed that Kosovo was a unique case and, therefore, it was not a precedent for solving conflicts in other regions of the world.

Before the Foreign Affairs Council and the General Affairs Council in Brussels, the foreign ministers from the Baltic States and Nordic EU countries had a separate meeting to discuss the situation in Central Asia. Minister A.Ažubalis presented to his counterparts the results of his meetings with ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“We are going to visit these countries in spring 2011, during Lithuania’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe,” Minister A.Ažubalis said.

The Minister stressed that Central Asia faced numerous challenges, such as water and energy resources management.

The crisis in Kyrgyzstan was also discussed. Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said that he valued the decision of the OSCE Permanent Council to send a Police Advisory Group to this country. According to Minister A.Ažubalis, Lithuania’s OSCE chairmanship will pay considerable attention to this region.

On 25 July, the eve of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting, the political directors from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic and Benelux states (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) held an informal meeting, during which the EU's relations with strategic partners, the European Neighbourhood Policy and activities of the European External Action Service were discussed, and an agreement was reached to hold the Baltic and Benelux foreign ministers’ meeting this autumn.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania