(AINA) -- At their recent meeting in Brussels on January 31, EU Foreign Ministers rejected a draft resolution condemning recent atrocities against Christian minorities in Egypt and Iraq. Although preceded by the unequivocal resolution of the European Parliament (EP) on January 20 condemning the increase of attacks on Christian minorities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and following an equally explicit recommendation by the Council of Europe (CoE) on January 27, the Council of Ministers could not agree on the inclusion of the word 'Christian' in their draft statement on the issue, saying they wanted to avoid saying anything "politically incorrect".
Although most religious violence in recent years has been perpetrated against Christians (with hundreds of Christians cruelly murdered during Christmas) and despite the clear statements of the EP and the CoE, EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton refused to make explicit reference to the "Christian" victims of these attacks in the ministerial statement that was supposed to condemn such religious persecution. Her position was endorsed and supported by five Foreign Ministers: Luís Amado (Portugal), Trinidad Jiménez (Spain), Jean Asselborn (Luxemburg), Brian Cowen (Ireland, represented by his permanent representative) and Markos Kyprianou (Cyprus).
Italy, France, Hungary and Poland strongly supported efforts to explicitly condemn the persecution of Christians.
The subject will be discussed again in the Council of Ministers on February 21.