Press release 138/2014
9 June 2014
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will participate in the European Union-League of Arab States Foreign Ministers Meeting in Athens on 10–11 June. In addition to the EU Foreign Ministers, the meeting will be attended by the Foreign Ministers of the 22 Member States of the Arab League, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Secretary General Nabil Elaraby of the League of Arab States.
The main topics of the meeting are expected to be the conflicts in the region, of which the Middle East conflict and the situation in Syria are expected to receive the most attention. With regard to the Middle East, the discussion will deal with reviving the peace process following the interruption in May of talks led by United States Secretary of State John Kerry. A new factor is the Palestinian unity government, formed on 2 June, which will be represented by Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki. With regard to Syria, anticipated topics of discussion are the successor to United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and the future of the peace talks. Also, the trend of democracy in the Arab world and its problems are likely to be discussed, as well as the formation of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMDZ).
Foreign Minister Tuomioja will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina on 11–12 June. He will have meetings with government leaders and with representatives of international actors and civil society. Topics for discussion include the devastating floods that have hit Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country’s EU rapprochement as well as bilateral and regional issues.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja will visit Italy on 12–13 June During the trip, Tuomioja will meet in Rome with Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini of Italy. The topics of discussion will be Ukraine, Russia, the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood, the incoming Italian Presidency of the EU and global development goals.
In Rome, Minister Tuomioja will also attend the meeting of the think tank of the European Council on Foreign Relations and will take the floor during a panel discussion on relations between the EU and its Eastern neighbours.
Additional information: Chief of Cabinet Tarja Kangaskorte, mobile tel. +358 40 181 9257;
The trip in Athens: Ambassador Risto Veltheim, tel. +358 40 748 2697;
The trip in Sarajevo: Counsellor Kirsti Hyyppä, tel. +358 295 350 666;
The trip in Rome: Team Leader Erja-Outi Heino, tel. +358 295 351 384