Statement on the latest developments in Azerbaijan

The New Year pardon announced by President Aliyev for several prisoners, including a number of journalists and opposition youth activists held in detention, is a welcome step. At the same time a decision to close the Baku bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty contravening Azerbaijan’s international commitments to protect media freedom has been taken. Restoring the international community’s faith in the commitment of Azerbaijan to the freedom of expression, a free and independent media, and to the rule of law will require consistent efforts of the authorities in...

Statement on the latest developments in Sudan

The decision by the Government of Sudan to expel senior UN officials puts at risk the access to the international assistance that is one of the most immediate needs of the people of Sudan. Instead, the international community would want to see the Government of Sudan take the steps that help lift the country from its current isolation. In its recent conclusion of the Foreign Affairs Council the European Union welcomed the initiative of the government of Sudan to launch a national dialogue, calling on all parties to make the sacrifices needed for the greater good of the country, but there has been no progress in the preparatory discussions. We reaffirm our support for the continuing efforts of the AU High Level Panel. Sudan needs to enjoy as soon as possible stable relations with the international...

Statement on the latest violence in Libya

The recent violence in Libya, including the fighting in the Gulf of Sirte and the airstrikes on targets in Misrata, can only bring further suffering to the Libyan people. Those who are consciously undermining the efforts by the UN to de-escalate the situation and to set the basis for a political dialogue are subject to international sanctions under UNSCR 2174. The EU stands ready to implement restrictive measures against those fuelling violence in Libya. I underline that only political dialogue can bring a solution to the Libyan...

Statement on the UN Security Council vote on the MEPP

Today’s vote at the UN Security Council regarding the Middle East Peace Process underlines once again the urgency of resuming meaningful negotiations between the parties and the need for the international community to focus on concrete achievements to reach an agreement that ends all claims and fulfils the aspirations of both parties. Our common aim is to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement based on the two-state solution, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition. The European Union believes that setting clear parameters for the negotiations is key for their success. They should be defined on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap and the agreements previously reached by the parties and the Arab Peace Initiative. The EU renews its call for both parties to resume negotiations urgently and to refrain from any action further undermining the viability of the two-state solution. The European Union will promote and support now more than ever efforts to achieve a lasting peace based on this two-state vision together with international partners, including in the region. The EU reiterates the strategic importance of the Arab Peace Initiative for all parties and is committed to help advance the peace process with the countries in the...

Statement on the sentencing of Alexey Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny

Statement by the Spokesperson on the sentencing of Alexey Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny The guilty verdict delivered today, Tuesday 30 December, by the Zamoskvoretsky Court against Alexey Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny appears to be politically motivated. The charges against them have not been substantiated during the trial. With the exception of a few selected representatives of the media, no public and international observers were allowed into the court building for the reading of the verdict. The EU stresses the importance of judicial decisions to be free from political interference, independent, and in full compliance with the rule of law. In anticipation of announced public actions tonight in Moscow, the EU expects that all parties concerned will show...