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Minister for Europe attends EU Foreign Affairs Council

Ahead of the meeting, Sir Alan Duncan spoke to media about recent attacks in Turkey and the situation in Syria.

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Minister for Europe, Sir Alan Duncan, is attending the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting.

Speaking to the media outside, the minister said:

I am very pleased to be standing in for Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who has been in the Gulf following the very successful visit of the Prime Minister to the Gulf Cooperation Council last week.

We are very saddened and appalled by the bombs in Istanbul and Cairo. This illustrates the constant terrorist threat that Turkey is facing at the moment and I think we all have to be very mindful of that following the attempted coup of 15 July.

One of the main topics here today (12 Dec) will be Syria – which similarly illustrates a continuing terrorist threat. We are appalled by what is happening in Aleppo. The only solution is a political solution but this will require a change of attitude on the part of the Russians – which we will argue for very strongly in this forum.

In the meantime, of course, I hope that our presence illustrates that although we are leaving the European Union, while we remain a member, we are going to play the fullest possible part in everything that it is doing.

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Published 12 December 2016