The Council of the European Union (EU) has adopted conclusions today condemning the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021 in the strongest possible terms, and stressing that the EU stands by the people of Burma.
With the conclusions, the Ministers called for the de-escalation of the current crisis through the immediate end of the state of emergency, the restoration of a legitimate political government and the opening of the newly elected parliament. They reiterated their call for the immediate and unconditional release of President U Win Myint, Prime Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all those arrested in the aftermath of the coup.
The 27 call on the authorities to restrain themselves and all parties to refrain from violence.
They note that while the EU stands ready to support dialogue with all key stakeholders in resolving the crisis, the EU is at the same time ready to adopt restrictive measures aimed at those directly responsible for the military coup and their financial interests. At the same time, the EU will continue to review all its policy tools as the situation evolves, including its development cooperation policy and trade preferences.
The EU will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and seek to avoid measures that could adversely affect the people of Myanmar, especially those in the most vulnerable conditions.
Earlier, addressing a meeting of the 27 ministers chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, he said: “Today we have before us a very important and long-term Foreign Affairs Council. There are so many elements, let me give the agenda: first our relationship with Russia, the Iran nuclear deal, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Belarus, the Strategic Compass, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the south neighborhood”.
“And a very important issue is that we will have a meeting with our colleague, the new United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken,” he said, adding that “this will be an opportunity to strengthen the importance of our renewed transatlantic relationship.” .
As for Russia, Borrell added, “it is clear that Russia is at odds with the European Union.”
According to him, “in the case of Alexei Navalny there is a refusal of Russia to respect its obligations, including the refusal to take into account the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.”
“There will be an important discussion between the Foreign Ministers on how to react to this and I hope we will do it in a united and decisive way. “Let's see the results of the discussions today,” the High Representative said.
Regarding the nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), he said, “significant diplomatic contacts are being made with all parties, including the United States, to see if the United States can return to the nuclear deal with Iran.” abandoned by the Trump administration. ” “I think this is a way for Iran to return to fulfilling its nuclear obligations,” he said.
“In Myanmar, we are seeing the growing violent consequences of the military coup, and there, too, we must respond quickly to human rights abuses and attacks on protesters with – I'm sorry to say – many casualties, people being killed during these demonstrations. “, He stated.
“In Belarus, repression is on the rise. There is intimidation of the population and civil society. “There we also have to take into account what the foreign ministers are discussing in order to give a quick response,” Borel wrote.
Regarding the “EU Strategic Compass”, he said that “it is a way to take into account all the challenges facing the European Union. It's a way for Defense Ministers to take a holistic approach to this set of challenges. “
“As I said, we have a lot of points about the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, after the recent conference chaired by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in Chad,” he added.
Finally, he referred to the southern neighborhood in view of the full debate on the next Foreign Affairs Council, “where we will also talk about the situation of immigrants and immigration policy”.
“As you can see, there are many important issues, the Foreign Affairs Council will last until 18:00 (19:00 Cyprus time), it is an all-day meeting and I hope I will be able to convey important and positive news to you”, concluded the High Representative .