The EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted another set of reinforced sanctions against the Syrian regime. Foreign Ministers strongly condemned the increasing use of force by the Syrian regime and reiterated their call for an immediate end to the killing of civilians, the withdrawal of the Syrian army from besieged towns and a peaceful end to the current crisis.
They expressed their deep disappointment that despite the serious escalation of violence, the members of the UN Security Council could not agree on a resolution to add more effective and robust pressure to end the violence and allow for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
The meeting also noted with concern the spill-over effects of the Syrian crisis in neighbouring countries and reiterated its support for the peace plan negotiated by the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan. On 17 July 2012, the Maltese government condemned the violence taking place in Syria, stating that “these atrocious acts must not occur without impunity”.
The High Representative briefed Ministers on her visit to Egypt and her meeting with President Morsi. The Council affirmed the EU’s willingness to intensify its cooperation with Egypt acknowledging Egypt’s critical role in the region. The Council meeting also discussed developments in Sudan/South Sudan, Mali and the Sahel, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and held an exchange of views on energy and foreign policy underlining the importance of increasing coherence of EU energy policy with its external policies.