- Title: FINLAND: EU FOREIGN MINISTER GATHER IN SAARISELKA
- Date: 4th September 1999
- Summary: SAARISELKA,FINLAND (SEPTEMBER 4, 1999) (REUTERS) SLV EXTERIORS OF RIEKONLINNA HOTEL SV FLAGS OF FINLAND AND THE EUROPEAN UNION SV GERMAN FOREIGN MINSTER JOSCHKA FISCHER ARRIVING MCU PHOTOGRPAHERS MCU (German) FISCHER SAYING "I don't know, I don't know we will talk about it in the end of the meeting". SLV BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER ROBIN COOK ARRIVING MCU (English) COOK SAYING "We are all deeply concerned about the situation in East Timor. That is why Britain has asked for East Timor to be high on our agenda and I look foward to discussing it my colleagues today. The vote is conclusive. No-one can possibly argue with the four-to-one vote for independence and for freedom" SLV POLICE SV FRENCH FOREIGN MINNISTER HUBERT VEDRINE PASSING BY, SAYING (French) "The meeting has not started yet. We will talk about it later." SV SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER ANNA LINDH ARRIVING LV LOCAL RESIDENTS WATCHING THE MINISTERS MCU (English) Irish Foreign Minister David Andrews "I will be recommending my colleagues to preserve our own credibility and to recognise in the strongest possible way the vote and to urge Indonesian authorities to grip on the security situation and to take guns from the thuggish militia." SLV ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER LAMBERTO DINI ARRIVING LV POLICE TURNING CARS AWAY (2 SHOTS) SLV/SV MINISTERS COMING TO POSE TO A "FAMILY PHOTO." (2 SHOTS) SLV/SV/MCU OF THE MINISTERS POSING FOR "FAMILY PHOTO" (4 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 19th September 1999 13:00
- Location: SAARISELKA, FINLAND
- Country: Finland
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAV2XLEKM1YAB2GXUB6BY6GZVJ
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: European Union (EU) foreign ministers have gathered in Finnish Lapland to discuss the EU enlargement as well as the aid for Balcans.However, the results of East Timor's referendum came high on the agenda of the meeting.
The European Foreign Ministers traded five-star hotels for log cabins deep within the Arctic Circle on Saturday (September 4).
Current EU president Finland decided to bring the ministers to Lappland's Saariselka ski resort, some 1000 km (620 miles) from Helsinki, for their informal talks.The ministers' agenda included subjects such as global trouble spots, from Kosovo to the Middle East.However, top of the agenda was the results of the East Timor referendum on Saturday.
Results of the former Portuguese colony's independence referendum showed nearly 80 percent of voters wanted to go it alone and only 21 percent backed autonomy under continued Indonesian rule.
The European Union's special representative on East Timor on Saturday hailed the pro-independence vote in the territory and said the EU should urge Indonesia to halt spiralling violence there.
" I will be recommending my colleagues to preserve our own credibility and to recognise in the strongest possible way the vote and to urge Indonesian authorities to grip on the security situation and to take guns from the thuggish militia.", Irish Foreign Minister David Andrews told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in the picturesque Lapland resort.
The ministers were also expected to ponder whether Turkey could be recognised as a candidate for EU membership and to discuss which of the other nations clamouring to join may be invited to start accession negotiations.
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