EU Foreign Chiefs to Talk on Ukraine, Ebola, IS in Luxembourg Monday

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EU foreign policy chiefs will meet in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, Ebola prevention and the joint anti-Islamic State push, including member states' financial contribution, the European Union Council said.

MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - EU foreign policy chiefs will meet in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, Ebola prevention and the joint anti-Islamic State push, including member states' financial contribution, the European Union Council said.

The Foreign Affairs Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. GMT) with a discussion of joined-up strategies to counter the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease. European chiefs of diplomacy will focus on stepping up a joint response to the outbreak in a bid to isolate the virus, and not the affected countries in West Africa.

Later in the day, the 28 ministers will be joined by UN Secretary-General's special representative in Libya Bernadino Leon, who will update them on the steps made so far to de-escalate the situation in Libya, where the government is fighting against Islamist insurgency.

The lunch discussion will also cover the situation in Iraq and Syria, two countries in the Middle East that in summer became the flashpoint for Islamic State offensive. The ministers will look for ways to contain the IS Islamist threat, using a wide range of tools. The Council assigns much of the blame for the IS rapid advance in Syria to the country's government and Damascus's alleged crackdown on its own people.

The Council will then exchange views on the situation in Gaza and the prospects for a sustainable ceasefire, before moving on to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. EU foreign chiefs will discuss the implementation of the Minsk protocol for this eastern European country and their further assistance to Kiev.

The ministers might also "give guidance on the upcoming review of the restrictive measures" against Russia, which are a package of sanctions slapped on Moscow over the past few months following Crimea's secession from Ukraine.

This comes after a high-ranking EU official told reporters last Friday that EU foreign ministers were not going to revise anti-Russia sanctions during the Monday meeting. The issue is expected to be tabled at a gathering of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) at the end of October, according to the European Parliament.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier that Western sanctions hurt not only his country, but also those who impose them. Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed that Moscow would not discuss any conditions for the lifting of sanctions.

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