HC Deb 27 April 1988 vol 132 cc156-7W
Mr. Hanley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in theOfficial Report, a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 25 April.

Mrs. Chalker

The Foreign Affairs Council met in Luxembourg on 25 and 26 April. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was present on 25 April. I attended on 26 April.

The Council further reviewed the implementation of the conclusions of the European Council in Brussels in February.

Possible dates for the 1989 European Parliament elections were discussed, and the question was remitted for further consideration at the May Foreign Affairs Council.

The Council discussed progress in the Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiations, and examined prospects for the negotiations during 1988. The Council also reviewed, and reached conclusions on, relations between the Community and Japan; a copy of the conclusions is being placed in the Library of the House.

Commission proposals on guidelines for the EC's programme of aid to Asia and Latin America were discussed, and the presidency declared them adopted. The Council also met a European Parliament delegation to discuss the extension of the food aid framework regulation, which expires at the end of June: the presidency will pursue the matter further with the Parliament, and will report back to a future Council.

Though over dinner there was a discussion of political issues with Turkish Ministers, the planned Association Council with Turkey did not, to Her Majesty's Government's great regret, take place. We attach importance to building up the Community's relationship with Turkey on the basis of the association agreement: and hope that this temporary set back will soon be overcome.

In the framework of European political co-operation, my right hon. and learned Friend raised the Kuwaiti Airlines hijacking and its aftermath, and put forward proposals for action to tighten international protection against hijacking. It was agreed that an expert group should meet soon to consider these proposals and other aspects of the hijacking.