Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz attends Foreign Affairs Council meeting and calls for enhanced cooperation with Libya on the refugee issue

On Monday, 6 February, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz attended the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting in Brussels. In his statement, Minister Kurz focused on enhancing cooperation with Libya in efforts towards resolving the refugee issue.

There is an urgent need for cooperation with Libya on the refugee issue because we already know that it is possible to reduce the influx of refugees. And clearly the Libyan government can - and in fact also needs to be a partner in the related effortsrdquo;, Foreign Minister Kurz stressed in the lead-up to the meeting.

At the informal European Council meeting that convened in Malta on Friday, participants had supported closer cooperation towards resolving the refugee issue in order to reduce the numbers of migrants that cross the Mediterranean heading for the Italian coast. Further topics dealt with by the Foreign Ministers' Council included cooperation with Libya's neighbour Egypt and the Middle East Peace Process.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Egypt, because it is here that we have already achieved such a situation. After having been rescued at sea, people are taken back to Egypt and in the medium term this makes embarking on such a journey increasingly less attractive,rdquo; the Foreign Minister stated, referring to the current practice in Egypt.

Another important topic on the agenda was the situation in Ukraine, which had recently been marked by heavy fighting. The EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday also marked the first such meeting attended by Sigmar Gabriel in his new function as German Foreign Minister.

Source: Federal Ministry Republic of Austria.