HC Deb 21 December 1988 vol 144 cc268-9W
Mr. Quentin Davies

To ask the Secretary of Stale for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 19 December.

Mrs. Chalker

The Foreign Affairs Council met in Brussels on 19 December. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and I represented the United Kingdom.

The Council discussed the outcome of the mid-term meeting of the GATT Uruguay round in Montreal on 4-9 December. The Council noted that the meeting had made progress in a large number of areas, that agriculture remained the most difficult area, and that all sides would need to show flexibility before the senior officials' meeting in April.

The Council discussed the dispute with the United States over the directive banning imports of hormone-treated meat; agreed on a derogation for pet food, and asked the Commission to explore the possibilities for a negotiated settlement.

The Council adopted guidelines for the 1989 programme of aid to Asia and Latin America, and agreed to early implementation of a new EC-China agreement on textiles. There was further discussion of the Community's external steel regime, and of new financial protocols for Cyprus and Malta. There was a short discussion of follow-up to the Rhodes European Council.

In the margins of the Council, an EC-Yugoslavia Co-operation Council was held, and the EC-Czechoslovakia trade agreement was signed.

In discussion of political co-operation subjects, we agreed that it would now be useful for Troika Foreign Ministers to undertake direct contacts with all parties in the Arab-Israel dispute, including of course Israel and the United States. The aim will be to encourage movement towards direct negotiations in the framework of an international peace conference.

We also endorsed the decision of TREVI Ministers that the EPC working group on judicial co-operation should give early attention to improved cooperation among the member states over matters of extradition procedure.

Back to