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2013.09.09 11:15

Kerry and Ashton joined the meeting of the EU ministers of foreign affairs

DELFI|The Lithuania Tribune2013.09.09 11:15

Informal meeting of the EU ministers of foreign affairs was taking place in Vilnius on 6-7 September 2013. The ministers have also been joined by United States Secretary of State John Kerry and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Catherine Ashton. 

Informal meeting of the EU ministers of foreign affairs was taking place in Vilnius on 6-7 September 2013. The ministers have also been joined by United States Secretary of State John Kerry and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

The discussions included the debate on the potential US-led military action against Syria, but later Catherine Ashton confirmed that the EU would seek for the political solution of the conflict in the Middle East.

“We agree that the gas attack in Syria was a crime against humanity and there is strong evidence that the Syrian government, the only possessor of that sort of chemical weapon nearby, can be held responsible for the attack. The international community cannot remain idle. We have to take actions to avoid such crimes in the future in Syria and elsewhere. That has to be done through the UN processes after the complete report of the UN inspectors is published, and we welcome the decision of President Hollande to wait for that report before taking any actions,” said Ashton.

The official also said that the EU is ready to help achieve the political settlement and to provide aid and assistance to those who need it.

“I thank for the cooperative relationship between the EU and the US. I am also grateful for the strong statement that has been made by the EU ministers, according to which the Assad’s regime is held responsible for the gas attack in Syria,” said Kerry.

Regarding the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit that will be held in Vilnius in November, Secretary Kerry described it as “very important economically”.

“The US is committed to work with the EU. I will discuss the ways to get more actively involved in this cooperation with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a couple of days,” said Kerry.

The Secretary of State has also expressed his gratitude for Lithuania’s efforts in solving multinational issues and the state’s contribution to the military mission in Afghanistan.

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius argued that, in addition to the major issues, the meeting of the ministers had also focused on energy as well as cyber security, and described it as being very constructive.  

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