AFET Chair Brok urges DPRK official to engage constructively with int. community
Should the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) show clear commitment in issues related to nuclear disarmament and human rights, the EU could re-engage with it, said EP Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) in a meeting with Kang Sok Ju, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea and Director of the Party’s International Department.
Following an initiative from the North Korean side, Mr Brok met Mr Kang on Tuesday, 9 September, in Brussels.
“We exchanged views on the state of our bilateral relations as well as on the prospects of progress in the inter-Korean dialogue. The discussion was quite open and frank”, said Mr Brok after the meeting.
“The EU would welcome any initiative contributing to mutual trust, regional stability and peace. We hope that North Korea will return to the Six-Party talks, within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, after sincere signs of such commitment from the DPRK”, stressed Mr Brok.
“The EU expects from the DPRK a tangible sign of willingness and readiness to re-engage; this could be the re-launch of the Human Rights Dialogue which had been broken off in 2003”, he stated.
Mr Brok added that the EU would stand ready to provide humanitarian aid and favour North Korea's participation in the Erasmus Mundus and Marie Curie programmes.
Mr Kang is the Secretary of the Central committee of the Workers Party and Director of the Party's International Relations Department. He is also the former negotiator of the nuclear deal of 1993-94.
Consent to Ukraine Assoc. Agreement and discussion with Grand Mufti of Egypt
On Monday, 8 September, the AFET Committee adopted, by a large majority, the report of Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL) giving consent to the Association Agreement with Ukraine. By doing so, the AFET Committee enables Parliament to vote next week in Strasbourg, together with the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada. The AFET Chair (Elmar Brok) pointed out that this Agreement is profoundly desired by the Ukrainian population and that Parliament, through this ratification, clearly shows its solidarity with Ukraine in these times of crisis.
The committee also held an exchange of views with Dr Shawqi Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt. The Grand Mufti reiterated its condemnation of ISIS as a radical group which uses religion for its own purposes. Nothing of what ISIS claims or does is supported by Islam. The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok, shared the concerns of the Grand Mufti about young Muslims being drawn to a flawed interpretation of Islam and into radicalism. He concurred with the Grand Mufti about the importance of encouraging moderate forces to come to the fore and promote democratic principles.
Meeting between AFET Chair Brok and Iran´s Foreign Affairs Minister Zarif
Elmar Brok, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, held on 1st of September a bilateral meeting with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. A large part of the meeting was dedicated to the nuclear talks, that are due to resume in the coming weeks, as well as to the situation in Iraq. Also human rights issues in Iran were discussed, including the situation of the 2012 Sakharov prize laureates Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi.
AFET Chair Elmar Brok on the situation in Iraq: “Europe must act immediately”
Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, called today on the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU Member States and the Commission to "facilitate the opening of a humanitarian corridor and to continue to increase humanitarian aid to Iraqi people in desperate need of assistance."
Mr Brok issued the following statement today:
“I follow with growing concern the deteriorating security situation in Northern Iraq. So far hundreds of thousands of civilians, among them many women and children, have fled the region as a result of the brutal advance of armed terrorist groups called "Islamic State" (IS). The escalation of the conflict and the persecution of Christian minorities, Yezidis and moderate Muslims have caused a humanitarian emergency situation which requires an immediate response by the international community.
Therefore, I welcome the decisions taken in Brussels last night that EU Member States can also provide military goods, in particular also for the support of the Kurds. In this context, especially France, the United Kingdom and Germany bear a big responsibility. This requires urgent action. That's why the EU and its Member States should quickly agree among themselves and with the USA, which has demonstrated the ability to act, on the division of labour and cooperation. The question arises also whether Turkey would be ready to be included in such cooperation.
I call on the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU Member States and the Commission to facilitate the opening of a humanitarian corridor and to continue to increase humanitarian aid to Iraqi people in desperate need of assistance. Furthermore, I invite them to immediately take all necessary actions, in a coordinated manner and in close cooperation with our international partners, which help the people of Northern Iraq to return to normal life. This will require also the stabilisation of the political situation in Baghdad which is an overall pre-condition for the Iraqi authorities including the military to re-gain full control over the entire territory of Northern Iraq. In particular, the creation of a government inclusive of all sections of the population is urgently needed. Iran can also make an important contribution to this process.”