Joint statement by Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Christos Stylianides on air strikes against UN/Syrian Red Crescent humanitarian aid convoy in Syria

The air strikes against the UN/Syrian Red Crescent humanitarian aid convoy near Aleppo are alarming violations of international humanitarian law. This attack risks to set an unacceptable precedent, jeopardising the safe delivery of humanitarian aid everywhere. We extend our sincere condolences to the SARC and the families of all humanitarian workers killed while doing their precious, invaluable job. We reiterate our call for the full respect of international humanitarian law by all parties to the Syrian conflict and their obligation to ensure the protection of humanitarian aid workers and civilians at all times. We call on all parties to the conflict to refrain from any new attack and respect fully the cessation of hostilities. We call in particular on the Syrian government to cease its air campaign against non-terrorist targets in Aleppo, and to allow the immediate and unhindered resumption of humanitarian access to all besieged areas and in particular to the people of Aleppo. It is critical for the people of Syria that the cessation of hostilities be implemented, respected and prolonged. As members of the International Syria Support Group the EU calls on the co-chairs, and on all other regional and international actors that are part of the ISSG, to respect and implement the truce and to exert their influence on all parties to the conflict to do the same, committing to a political transition in Syria in accordance with the UNSC resolution 2254. To this end, the EU is intensifying its work in these days within the ISSG, with the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, and through its contacts with Syrian parties and regional...

Statement by Federica Mogherini on the announcement of an agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP on a definitive and final peace agreement

The announcement of a final peace agreement today in Havana between the FARC-EP and the Government of Colombia is reason for celebration. It is an historic and unique opportunity for peace in Colombia, which follows a long negotiation requiring great political will and perseverance. I had a telephone conversation today with President Santos, who informed me of the historic developments. I pay tribute to his political leadership and vision, to the negotiating teams, to Cuba and Norway as guarantors, as well as to Venezuela and Chile as facilitating countries. It is now for the Colombian people to decide on their own future through the plebiscite. Many challenges lie ahead in the implementation of the agreement, which should pave the way for lasting peace in the country and be based on genuine national reconciliation and justice. It should also bring truth and reparations to the victims, who have endured so much loss and pain throughout the years of conflict. The European Union has supported Colombia since the beginning of the peace process and will continue to stand by it during the post-conflict phase. I want to personally express all our support to the political courage which is needed to make peace and guarantee to Colombia that the European Union will continue to be at its side in this historic process. As I announced to President Santos in Bogota during my visit on 25-26 May, the European Union will provide support to the implementation of the peace process with an overall package of € 575 million. Together with the Government we are already preparing new projects, which include peace education in the context...

Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the adoption of judicial reform in Albania

Today the Parliament of the Republic of Albania adopted unanimously constitutional amendments which constitute provisions for a deep and comprehensive judicial reform. We congratulate the people of Albania, their leadership and all political forces who showed the maturity and responsibility to make this historical decision. This unprecedented step addresses a longstanding request by the overwhelming majority of the citizens for justice that is accountable, independent and transparent. It is also a major contribution to the fight against corruption and organised crime. These are all key priorities for Albania on its path towards integration into the EU. Now it is important that the implementation of the reform starts immediately, with the view that the people of Albania are served by a justice system that is firmly based on European...

Statement by Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the declaration of the State of Emergency in Turkey

We are following the developments regarding the State of Emergency Turkey has declared after the attempted coup, which the European Union condemned, very closely and with concern. This declaration comes in the wake of the recent unacceptable decisions on the education system, judiciary and the media. As outlined in the conclusions of the Council and in the discussion of the European Commission this week, we call on Turkish authorities to respect under any circumstances the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of all individuals concerned to a fair trial. The declaration of State of Emergency gives the executive far reaching powers to govern by decree. Under the terms of the Turkish Constitution, core fundamental rights shall be inviolable even in the State of Emergency. President Erdogan stated that the measure will in no way affect democracy, the rule of law or fundamental freedoms. We indeed expect that they will be fully respected, and that the authorities will act with restraint, as outlined clearly by the European Union in the Council conclusions on 18 July. Any temporary suspension of the European Convention of Human Rights needs to follow the rules foreseen for such a derogation. The EU will continue to monitor the situation very closely, including the practical implications of the State of Emergency. We expect the parliament and all forces represented in the democratic institutions of the country to play their constitutional role at...

Ulaanbataar declaration on Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) into the third decade

We, Heads of State and Government from ASEM partner countries, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General of ASEAN gathered in Ulaanbaatar on 15-16 July 2016 for the 11th ASEM Summit to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ASEM under the theme of “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity” and to chart the future course of ASEM into its third decade. We are encouraged that ASEM has enlarged from 26 partners to 53 over the last twenty years, and it has proven both its vitality and relevance as an important and unique platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. ASEM has been and continues to be an important factor in shaping the global setting in the 21st century through making its contribution to sustained peace, security, stability, economic recovery and to responding to global and regional challenges. We recognize the contributions that ASEM has made in: – Fostering greater understanding between Asia and Europe; – Broadening political dialogue, enhancing economic cooperation and increasing socio-cultural exchanges; – Deepening Asia-Europe inter-connectedness, shaping and forging links and mutually beneficial, multi-layered cooperation for peace and development; – Creating opportunities for broader people-to-people connections, including through the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF); – Addressing the challenges faced by both regions as well as at the inter-regional and global levels; – Promoting effective multilateralism and strengthening other multilateral processes. We are committed to taking the ASEM process forward in an open and evolutionary manner, building upon past experiences, promoting greater connectivity and more focused cooperation between Asia and Europe. We reaffirm that the ASEM process should...

Press release on the situation in Turkey

The High Representative Federica Mogherini conveyed an urgent meeting of EU member states Foreign ministers and their representatives, currently in Ulaanbataar for the Asem summit, to assess the situation in Turkey and coordinate political messages and support to European Union’s citizens in Turkey. They expressed support to the democratic institutions of the country and condemned the use of violence against them. They agreed that any escalation of violence involving civilians has to be avoided. The ministers will meet again in Brussels for the Foreign Affairs Council, and will discuss again the situation in Turkey at that occasion. The HRVP spoke with Turkish Foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and has been in contact in these hours with other Foreign ministers and with NATO Secretary General, Jens...