The conclusions of the just completed EU Council meeting on Foreign Affairs were released yesterday. Not surprisingly, Libya was a major topic of discussion and there was condemnation of the Libyan government’s actions. But there is a strong difference of opinion among member states regarding what else should be done. Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb called for the imposition of sanctions against Gaddafi, his family, and Libyan government officials saying “it was hypocritical that Europe last month slapped sanctions on the Belarussian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, and his associates. ‘How can we on one side look at what’s going on in Libya, with almost 300 people shot dead, and not talk about sanctions or travel bans, and at the same time put travel bans and sanctions in Belarus?’.” Italy strongly opposed imposing sanction against Libya: Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called for a “European Marshall Plan” instead of sanctions. His plan would “include political, economic, and social support” for Libya.
Among the agreed upon conclusions was the following: “The Council stresses the importance of strengthened cooperation with Mediterranean countries to address illegal immigration, in accordance with the principles of international law. JHA Ministers meeting later this week in the Council will pursue detailed work on this issue.”
Click here for the Foreign Affairs Council Meeting Conclusions.