EU Presidency statement on the reform of criminal law and the abolition of the death penalty in Kyrgyzstan. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the decisions taken by the Kyrgyz Government on 27 June 2007 concerning the reform of criminal law and the execution of criminal sentences. The introduction of suspended sentences and the strengthening of the courts are major contributions towards enhancing human rights in Kyrgyzstan. The country is thereby underlining its determination to respect international human rights standards and live up to its commitments in the framework of the OSCE.
In this context the Presidency of the European Union welcomes in particular the decision of the Kyrgyz President Bakijev to abolish the death penalty in Kyrgyzstan. This is an important step, also with a view to the EU's goal of a worldwide abolition of the death penalty.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the 10th anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The European Union expresses its sincere congratulations to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its establishment. The principle of one country, two systems has generally worked well in practice and Hong Kong today remains a success.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June 2007. On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force of the International Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and the tenth United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26 June), the EU underlines the priority it attaches to the global eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to the full rehabilitation of torture victims.
EU Presidency statement on the attack on UNIFIL troops in southern Lebanon. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the perfidious attack on Spanish UNIFIL troops in southern Lebanon on Sunday (24 June), which claimed the lives of six members of the Spanish contingent and injured a number of others. The Presidency expresses its sympathy to the families and friends of the victims, and wishes those injured a speedy and complete recovery.
EU Presidency statement on the outcome of the Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts of the CCW. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the fact that the very first meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts of the Convention on the prohibition or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or tho have indiscriminate effects (CCW) dealing specifically with the issue of cluster munitions has set the basis for a negotiation process to start in the near future.
EU Presidency statement on the Shura Council elections in Egypt. The Presidency of the European Union has been following very closely the elections for the Shura Council, the upper chamber of the Egyptian Parliament, which were held on 11 and 18 June. These were the first elections since the constitutional amendments granting the Shura Council greater powers entered into force. The Presidency of the European Union takes note of the low turnout at these elections. It regrets that there were reportedly widespread irregularities and acts of violence.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on developments in the Republic of Fiji Islands. The European Union views positively the lifting of the state of emergency in the Republic of Fiji Islands. This represents an important step on the road back to democracy and towards implementation of the commitments agreed by the Interim Government during the consultations that took place on 18 April 2007 between the European Union and Fiji under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.
Human Rights Council – Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the outcome of the Institution Building Process. The European Union welcomes that an agreement was reached on 19 June in Geneva on the Institution Building Process of the UN Human Rights Council. Throughout the last 12 months, the EU has been most actively involved in the negotiation process and has consistently called for a strong Council that would make it a key-organ of the UN’s human rights protection system. Although not all of the EU’s objectives could be achieved, the EU joined this agreement in the spirit of necessary compromise.
EU Presidency statement on the reports presented by ICTY President and ICTY Chief Prosecutor to the UN Security Council. The Presidency of the European Union has taken note of the reports presented to the UN Security Council on 18 June 2007 by Fausto Pocar, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY. The Presidency stresses that the full cooperation of all States of the former Yugoslavia with the ICTY is absolutely crucial to achieving lasting reconciliation in the region. It is also a requirement for moving closer to the European Union.
EU Presidency statement on the local elections in the Republic of Moldova. Following the conclusion of the second round of the local elections in the Republic of Moldova, the EU Presidency notes with satisfaction that, all in all, they went off smoothly and that voters had been given a genuine choice between candidates and parties, even if the elections did not comply on all points with the international obligations entered into by the Republic of Moldova.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the situation in the Comoros. The European Union is concerned by the developments in the situation in the Comoros and disapproves of the fact that the Anjouan authorities held the first round of the presidential election on the autonomous island of Anjouan, notwithstanding the decision by the Union Government to postpone the poll until 17 June 2007.
The European Union endorses the statement by the African Union that, in the absence of the African Union forces tasked with ensuring the security of the elections and of international observers, the election organised by the Anjouan authorities is not valid.
EU Presidency Statement on the attack in Kabul. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms today's attack in Kabul, which claimed many lives. Among the victims are many Afghan police officers who played their part in helping to establish stability and security in Afghanistan. Within the context of the assistance to build a new Afghan police force, they cooperated closely and in a spirit of trust with the European police experts seconded to Afghanistan.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in the Palestinian territories. The EU Presidency condemns in the strongest possible terms the violent seizure of power by illegal Hamas militia in the Gaza Strip. It condemns the killing of innocent civilians and members of the legal security forces. It is extremely concerned about the repercussions for the humanitarian situation and demands that all sides facilitate supplies to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.
EU Presidency Statement on the IAEA report on assurances of supply of nuclear fuel. On 13 June IAEA Director General El Baradei presented a report on a potential new framework for the use of nuclear energy and "options" for assurances of supply of nuclear fuel to the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna. Inextricably linked to this subject is the question of how to reconcile the legitimate right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes with the need to prevent any form of abuse for military ends.
EU Presidency Statement on the recent violence in the Palestinian Territories. The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned at the recent outbreak of violence between Fatah and Hamas supporters in the Palestinian Territories which during the past few days has cost the lives of over 40 people and injured numerous others.
The Presidency condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks by illegal militias on the National Security Forces.
EU Presidency Statement on the attack on the minarets of the al-Askari shrine in Samarra. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest terms the attack on the minarets of the al-Askari shrine in Samarra. The Muslim holy site was already the target of an attack in February 2006. The clear goal behind this serious act of aggression is to cause the sectarian violence in Iraq to escalate further and to spark ethnic-religious violence.
The Presidency of the European Union is following this development with great concern. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to the victims of the attack and their families.
EU Presidency Statement on the bombing in Beirut. The EU Presidency was deeply shocked to hear of today's bombing in Beirut, which claimed the lives of Lebanese Member of Parliament Walid Eido, his son and the people accompanying him. The EU Presidency condemns this attack in the strongest terms. It conveys its heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims and wishes those who have been injured a speedy recovery.
The attack is another targeted attempt to destabilize Lebanon. This is unacceptable and will not succeed. The background to the bombing must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.
EU Presidency Statement on the deliberations G8 Heads of State and Government held on Kosovo at the Summit in Heiligendamm. The Presidency of the European Union reaffirms the view of the EU that the issue of Kosovo's future status remains the most urgent political problem in the Western Balkans. In the interest of the stability of Kosovo, Serbia and the entire region this issue must be settled soon.
The European Union believes that a new Resolution by the United Nations Security Council must be the basis for a settlement of the status issue.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in the Comoros. The Presidency appeals to the various forces within the Union of the Comoros to work towards ensuring that the forthcoming elections of the presidents of the autonomous islands are transparent and go off without incident. It recalls that the European Union, in coordination with other partners involved in the development of the Comoros, has provided political and financial support for the current process. The EU and France have made the main contribution towards the UNDP Fund for the elections.
EU Presidency Statement on the European Commission's announced intention to resume negotiations with Serbia on a Stabilization and Association Agreement. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the announcement today (7 June) by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso that the negotiations with Serbia on a Stabilization and Association Agreement will be resumed as early as next week. This step was made possible by Serbia's recently demonstrated willingness to cooperate with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). At the end of her latest visit to Serbia ICTY Prosecutor Carla del Ponte also concluded that Serbia is willing to cooperate. Federal Minister Steinmeier was briefed by Ms del Ponte by telephone on the outcome of her visit.
EU Presidency statement on the release of former FARC fighters. The Presidency of the European Union takes note of the release from prison of a large number of former fighters of the FARC guerrilla group by the Colombian Government, and would call to mind once again the statement which it issued on 23 February 2007 to mark the fifth anniversary of the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt and her campaign director.
EU Presidency statement on the anti-Israeli remarks made by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest anti-Israeli remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has thus once again alienated itself from the international stage and given the world community further cause for mistrust. The Presidency of the European Union calls on Iran to distance itself clearly from all threats made towards Israel, to unconditionally acknowledge Israel's right to exist and to act responsibly in the region.
EU Presidency Statement on the attack on the Somali Prime Minister. The Presidency of the European Union categorically condemns the attack in Mogadishu on Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi, which left several people dead, including a local employee of the European Commission, and injured many others. The Presidency offers profound condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured. The Presidency of the European Union condemns this attack as an assault on the whole peace and reconciliation process in Somalia.
EU Presidency Statement on the arrest of the suspected war criminal Tolimir in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU Presidency welcomes the arrest of Zdravko Tolimir, a suspected war criminal indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 May 2007. The ICTY charged Mr Tolimir in 2005 with crimes against humanity and war crimes connected to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. He now has to be transferred without delay to the Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.
EU Presidency statement on the Litvinenko case. In the light of the extradition request made to the Government of the Russian Federation by the British Government on 28 May 2007, the EU Presidency expresses its hope that all necessary steps will be taken to resolve the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. It expects the Russian judicial system to cooperate constructively with the British authorities. It stresses the European Union's earnest desire to see the case fully resolved and the culprits punished.
EU Presidency Statement on the kidnapping of five UK nationals in Iraq. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the kidnapping of five UK nationals in Baghdad on 29 May 2007. It expresses its full solidarity with their families, and joins them in hoping that this case ends happily.
EU Presidency statement on the UN Security Council decision to set up a special tribunal for Lebanon. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 1757 (2007) to establish a special tribunal to deal with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other political killings in Lebanon. This UN Security Council Resolution sends out an important signal from the international community that politically motivated attacks and killings in Lebanon must not go unpunished.
EU Presidency statement on the release of members of the opposition in Belarus. The EU Presidency welcomes the recent release of two prominent members of the Belarusian opposition, Nikolai Statkevich and Pavel Severinets.
It also welcomes the earlier release – although subject to conditions - of the four members of the organization Partnerstvo convicted in autumn 2006.
The Presidency calls upon the Belarusian Government to release all other political prisoners without delay.
Declaration of the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the non-renewal of the broadcasting licence of the Venezuelan channel RCTV. The European Union has noted with concern that the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has decided to let the broadcasting license for Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) expire on 27 May without holding an open competition for the successor license. The European Union believes it is important to recall the promises made by the Venezuelan authorities regarding an open competition and a tender process for that same licence.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in Ukraine. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the agreement reached by President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovich to hold parliamentary elections in the Ukraine on 30 September 2007. It urges both sides to now implement this political compromise step by step, and encourages the leadership to jointly advance the constitutional-reform process up to the agreed date of the elections in harmony with European values, in order to provide their country with a stable, reliable and universally-recognized framework for political discourse.
Presidency Statement on the extension of the house arrest of opposition leader and Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The Presidency of the European Union deeply condemns today’s decision of the Government of Myanmar to extend the house arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for yet another year and deplores that all international appeals, including that of the EU on 24 May 2007, have once more gone unheard.
The government’s decision demonstrates persistent unwillingness to engage all political and ethnic forces of the country in a genuine dialogue with a view to bringing about true national reconciliation and the establishment of democracy.
EU Presidency statement on developments in Ukraine. The Presidency of the European Union is increasingly concerned about recent developments in Ukraine. The Presidency urges President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovych to assume the responsibility which they have to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine through negotiations, as agreed.
All efforts should now be focused on reaching a peaceful joint settlement quickly. The agreements reached on 4 May with regard to the holding of parliamentary elections represent an important starting point and should now be built upon.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on human rights cases in Iran. The European Union is deeply concerned by recent developments in the human rights situation in Iran. The EU is particularly troubled by the recent wave of arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists. Teachers, students, union members, scholars and journalists exercising their right to freely express their opinion are facing constant intimidation, and stricter dress codes for men and women are being imposed by force. It has been noted with concern that at least three offices of non-governmental organisations were recently closed. The EU also wishes to draw attention to the worsening of the situation of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, in particular to the plight of the Baha’i, who are excluded from public life, discriminated against and harassed.
EU Presidency statement on the recent violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned about the ongoing breach of the cease-fire agreed on 25 November 2006 by President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert. It condemns the missile attacks on Israeli cities launched from the Palestinian Gaza Strip and calls upon the Palestinian Government to do everything it can to stop them.
The Presidency is shocked by the death of innocent civilians on both sides caused by the violence during the last few days. It renews with urgency its demand that the Kassam attacks be ended immediately and calls upon the Israeli Government to avoid inflicting civilian casualties when retaliating and to exercise proportionality.
EU Presidency Statement on the Iranian nuclear programme. The EU Presidency has noted with great concern the report of the IAEA Director General of 23 May regarding the Iranian nuclear programme. According to this report, Iran has once again neglected to take the necessary steps called for by the United Nations Security Council in its Resolutions 1737 and 1747 to build confidence that its nuclear programme exclusively serves civilian purposes. Rather, Iran has disregarded these appeals and has continued to drive forward its nuclear programme as well as further restricting its cooperation with the IAEA. The Presidency also notes with concern that the restrictive attitude adopted by Iran does not allow the IAEA to clarify the still-unresolved issues pertaining to the Iranian nuclear programme.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the possible extension of the house arrest for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The EU strongly reiterates its call on the authorities of Burma/Myanmar to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, from house arrest and to free all other political detainees. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has now been held in isolation without charge for four consecutive years since the attack on her convoy on 30 May 2003, and has spent more than eleven of the last 17 years in detention.
EU Presidency statement on the attack in Ankara. The Presidency of the European Union was deeply shocked to learn of the ruthless terror attack in Ankara yesterday evening in which so many people were killed or injured.
The Presidency utterly condemns this terrible crime and extends its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims. The Presidency wishes those injured a speedy recovery and assures the Turkish people of its full support.
The people behind this cowardly crime must be tracked down and brought to justice. The fight against them must be waged with all the instruments that a State based on the rule of law has at its disposal.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in Lebanon. The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned at the recent outbreak of violence in Lebanon which killed over 50 people and injured numerous others.
It condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks on Lebanese security forces and underlines its support for the government of Prime Minister Siniora. The Presidency also condemns the bomb attack of 20 May 2007 in Beirut which led to one fatality and caused several injuries.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU concerning the presidential elections in Mali. Following publication of the final results of the presidential elections held in Mali on 29 April 2007, which demonstrate how firmly democracy has become established there, the Presidency of the European Union wishes to pay tribute to the smooth conduct of the elections. It welcomes the calm, peaceful way in which the election campaign and polling took place and commends the maturity shown by Mali's institutions and political forces.
EU Presidency statement on the escalation of inter-Palestinian clashes. The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned about the escalation of violence between Palestinian factions which during the last few days has claimed more than 30 lives, including civilians, and left many injured. The Presidency calls upon leaders on all sides to renounce the use of violence immediately, to restore the cease-fire and to resume their dialogue.
EU Presidency statement on the formation of a government in Serbia. The EU Presidency would like to inform the member states of the following statement it has issued today.
The Presidency of the EU welcomes the formation of a new pro-democracy government in Serbia and its approval by the Serbian Parliament on 15 May. The parties in the new government – the Democratic Party (DS), along with the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) and New Serbia (NS), which fought the elections on the same list, and the G17 Plus party – have reiterated their desire for reform and their intention to pursue a pro-Europe political agenda. In so doing, they have satisfied one important condition for intensifying relations between the EU and Serbia.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the second round of the presidential election in Timor-Leste. The EU congratulates the population of Timor-Leste for the calm and orderly way in which the final round of the Presidential election was conducted on 9 May with the support of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). With their high turnout the Timorese people have once again demonstrated their commitment to the democratic process. The EU regards this Presidential election as an important step towards strengthening democratic structures and accountable democratic institutions.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the sentencing of human rights defenders in Viet Nam. The EU has noted with great concern that several peaceful human rights defenders have been arrested and given long prison sentences on charges of "conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam". On 30 March, Father Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Phong and Nguyen Binh Thanh were sentenced to 8, 6 and 5 years’ imprisonment respectively by the People's Court of Thua Thien Hue Province. On 10 May, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Huynh Nguyen Dao and Le Nguyen Sang were sentenced to 3, 4 and 5 years’ imprisonment respectively by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City.
EU Presidency Statement on the sentencing of intellectual Michel Kilo and political activist Mahmoud Issa in Syria. The Presidency of the European Union expresses its profound concern over the three-year prison terms to which Michel Kilo, a Syrian intellectual, and Mahmoud Issa, a Syrian political activist, were sentenced by a criminal court in Damascus on 13 May 2007.
The Presidency regrets that Michel Kilo and Mahmoud Issa have been sentenced merely for expressing their political views.
EU Presidency statement on the parliamentary elections in Armenia. The Presidency of the European Union notes with satisfaction that the parliamentary elections held in Armenia on 12 May were, on the whole, conducted fairly, freely and largely in accordance with the international commitments which Armenia had entered into. The Presidency welcomes the fact that, compared to previous elections, significant progress has been made.
EU Presidency statement on the politicial situation in Serbia. Serbia's President, Boris Tadic, announced yesterday the formation of a government by democratic parties. The parties involved – the Democratic Party of President Boris Tadic, the Democratic Party of Serbia of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, and the G17 Plus party led by Mladjan Dinkic – would thus have succeeded in agreeing on a joint, pro-reform and pro-Europe government shortly before the constitutional deadline expires on 14 May.
EU Presidency statement on the sentencing of Syrian opposition figure Dr Kamal Labwani. The Presidency of the European Union expresses its deep regret at the sentencing of Dr Kamal Labwani on 10 May 2007 to life imprisonment, commuted to 12 years’ imprisonment. This verdict against the leader of the Liberal Democratic Union, a Syrian citizen, is based on allegations of intriguing with or contacting a foreign state to incite an act of aggression against Syria, a charge that was only later added to the case against him.
Statement by the Presidency on behalf of the EU upon Conclusion of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The EU welcomes today’s successful conclusion of the first session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference (Vienna, 30 April – 11 May).
Unjustifiable objections raised by Iran caused a considerable delay in the adoption of the agenda for that meeting. The EU regrets that this led to a loss of time and prevented the smooth start of the new NPT review cycle which the EU had been working strenuously to achieve.
EU Presidency statement on the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 3 May 2007, the EU Member States approved the text of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conclusion of this Agreement could bring Bosnia and Herzegovina a step closer to the EU.
EU Presidency Statement on the election of the Speaker of Serbia's Parliament. The EU Presidency noted with concern yesterday's election (8 May) of the deputy chairman of the Serbian Radical Party, Tomislav Nikolic, as Speaker of the Serbian Parliament. To date, the Serbian Radical Party has always been strongly opposed to Serbia forging closer ties with the European Union.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the sentences issued against Gulbahor Turaeva and Umida Niazova in Uzbekistan. The European Union has learned with great concern about the harsh sentences of six respectively seven years in prison passed on 24 April and 1 May 2007 to Ms. Gulbahor Turaeva and Ms. Umida Niazova.
The EU also deplores the fact that international observers were not allowed to observe the trial despite previous requests.
Reiterating its concern about the situation of human rights defenders in Uzbekistan the EU urges the Uzbek authorities to immediately review the two cases and to fully respect the principles of due and fair trial according to Uzbekistan’s commitments to international human rights standards.
Presidency Statement on Iraq's Neighbouring Countries’ conference in Sharm El Sheikh on 4 May 2007. 1.The EU welcomes the conference of Iraq's Neighbouring Countries with international participation (including the EU Troika) which took place in Sharm El Sheikh on 4 May 2007. The EU would like to thank the Government of Egypt for hosting this conference.
2. The international community, and in particular the States in the region, have a responsibility to support and promote the difficult process of national reconciliation and stabilisation in Iraq, and to prevent any outside interference that could undermine this process.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the launching of the International Compact with Iraq. The European Union warmly welcomes the launching of the International Compact with Iraq in Sharm El Sheikh on 3 May 2007. It reaffirms its strong support for the democratically-elected Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people in the challenging circumstances facing the country, and for their efforts to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity to an independent, unified, democratic, federal and sovereign Iraq founded on the principles of freedom and equality. It encourages the Iraqi Government to continue its efforts to promote national reconciliation, rule of law and restoration of public order, and reiterates its support for these efforts.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in front of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. The Presidency of the European Union is gravely concerned about current developments in relations between Estonia, a Member State of the European Union, and the Russian Federation. At the present time the situation of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow gives cause for concern. The Presidency of the European Union strongly urges the Russian Federation to comply with its international obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and protect the staff and premises of the Estonian mission and ensure unimpeded access to it.
EU Presidency statement on the presidential elections in Turkey. The Presidency of the European Union is closely following developments in Turkey after the first round of the presidential elections. It expects all those responsible in the political sphere to play their part in ensuring that the presidential elections are carried out in accordance with the principles of democracy and the rule of law laid down in the constitution.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the 10th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention on 29 April 2007. 29 April 2007 marks the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Chemical Weapons Convention is a cornerstone of the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaty regime. It is unique, since it bans completely and without exception an entire category of weapons of mass destruction and requires the destruction of all chemical weapons under international verification.
With the entry into force of the Convention, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was set up in The Hague and tasked with the implementation of the Convention. The EU congratulates the OPCW on its remarkable success in the faithful and effective discharge of the functions entrusted to it under the terms of the Convention. In this respect, the EU considers the OPCW to be an inspiring example for effective multilateralism in the field of non-proliferation and verifiable arms control.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the elections in Nigeria. The European Union (EU) is disappointed that the elections held on 14 and 21 April did not represent a significant progress in relation to 2003 elections in spite of the improvements provided by in the Electoral Act 2006. The EU is deeply concerned that these elections were marred by many irregularities and by violent incidents resulting in a high toll of victims. The EU expects that the persons responsible for this violence will be brought to justice.
In many states there were serious organisational problems, including late arrival of ballot papers. There were also well-substantiated reports of attempts to rig the voting. And there was evidence that the results at the polling stations were distorted after the count.
EU Presidency statement on the situation in Ukraine. The European Union feels compelled to express its serious concern about the latest turn taken by the political crisis in Ukraine.
The latest developments give rise to fears that the willingness of the feuding parties to work together to find ways out of the political crisis is diminishing.
Against this background, the Presidency of the European Union urgently calls on all those involved to continue political talks and to further undertake all possible endeavours to reach a joint solution. The longer the crisis endures, the harder it will be to find a political compromise.
EU Presidency Statement on Japan’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Presidency of the European Union warmly welcomes today´s decision taken by the parliament of Japan to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Japan's ratification marks a further significant step forward in the international community's efforts to combat impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. We hope that Japan's accession will encourage other countries in Asia to consider a representation at the Court.
EU Presidency statement on the sentencing of Syrian human rights lawyer Anwar Al-Bunni. The Presidency expresses its regret that Anwar al-Bunni, a prominent Syrian human rights defender, was sentenced to five years of detention in Damascus on 24 April 2007 for having disseminated human rights-related material. The European Union is deeply concerned by the repeated harassment of human rights defenders in Syria.
EU Presidency statement on the elections in Nigeria. The Presidency has noted with concern reports of irregularities and of the use of violence in some regions of Nigeria during the presidential and parliamentary elections yesterday (Saturday).
These incidents have given rise to concerns that not all Nigerians entitled to vote really were able to do so freely and without fear.
EU Presidency Statement on the discussions concerning the Western Sahara issue in the United Nations Security Council. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes that proposals have been submitted to the United Nations by Morocco as well as the Sahrawi independence movement Frente Polisario for settling the long-stalled conflict over the Western Sahara.
Morocco had previously briefed the EU Presidency on its autonomy plan.
EU Presidency statement on the attacks in Iraq. The EU Presidency was deeply shocked to learn of the new series of attacks in Iraq, which have claimed the lives of more than 150 people. It condemns the attacks in the strongest possible terms and conveys its condolences to the families of the victims. It wishes those injured a speedy recovery.
EU Presidency statement on the elections in Nigeria on 21 April. The EU Presidency regards the federal elections due to be held in the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 21 April as especially important, not only for the further development of Africa's most populous country but also for the entire region. A democratic election process free of disruptions is a guarantee of peace and progress on our neighbouring continent.
EU Presidency statement on the dispersal of demonstrations in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod. The EU Presidency followed with concern events in Moscow and St. Petersburg at the weekend, as well as in Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg during the last few weeks. The treatment meted out to demonstrators by the Russian security forces raises questions about the proportionality of these actions. The arrest of accredited journalists and the attacks on them on the fringes of the demonstrations also give cause for concern.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU concerning recent developments in Darfur. The European Union is particularly concerned about the direct clashes between the Chadian and Sudanese armies that took place on 9 April. The European Union calls on the authorities of Chad and Sudan to exercise restraint and to return to observing the commitments in the Tripoli Declaration. The European Union urges the two sides to do everything possible to avoid an escalation at the frontier, which would lastingly impair the peace efforts in Darfur and would further exacerbate the suffering of the people of Darfur and eastern Chad.
EU Presidency Statement on the bombing of the Iraqi Parliament. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on the Iraqi parliament on 12 April in which eight people were killed and many others were injured. The Presidency conveys its sympathy to the families of the victims and wishes those who have been injured a speedy recovery.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the first round of the presidential election in Timor-Leste. The EU congratulates the Timorese population who have shown their commitment to democracy and peace by participating in huge numbers in a generally peaceful way in the first presidential elections since independence in 2002. The EU regards these elections as an important milestone on the road to nation-building and to re-establishing stable democratic structures and accountable democratic institutions.
EU Presidency Statement on the attacks in Algiers. The EU Presidency was shocked to hear of today's attacks on the Prime Minister's office in the centre of Algiers and on a police station. The Presidency most strongly condemns these attacks, which have claimed numerous lives and injured well over 100 people.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the formation of the new government in Côte d'Ivoire. The European Union takes note of the formation of the new government in Côte d'Ivoire on 7 April 2007 and welcomes its commitment to peace. The European Union invites the new government and the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to become involved resolutely in the implementation of the action advocated in the political agreement concluded in Ouagadougou on 4 March 2007 in order to relaunch the peace process defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1721. With a view to finding a rapid solution to the crisis affecting the whole country, the European Union calls on the parties to move forward on the key issues, including: identification of the population, Defence and Security Forces issues, the DDR (disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration) programme and the organisation as early as possible of free, fair, open, democratic and transparent elections.
EU Presidency Statement on the Iranian nuclear programme. The Presidency of the European Union has noted with great concern the announcement by Iran that it intends to begin uranium enrichment on an industrial scale. Such a step by Iran would directly contradict the repeated requests by the IAEA Board of Governors and the binding calls on Iran by the UN Security Council, in Resolutions 1737 and 1747, to suspend all enrichment-related activities.
EU Presidency Statement on the release of the British naval personnel by Iran. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the release of the 15 British naval personnel captured on 23 March and their return today to Britain.
From the very beginning of this crisis, the European Union lent its support in calling for a rapid solution, and repeatedly contacted the Iranian authorities to intercede strongly on behalf of the 15 British sailors and marines.
EU Presidency Statement on the attacks in Darfur on members of the AU Mission in Sudan. The Presidency of the European Union most strongly condemns the underhand and unprovoked attack on a group of AMIS soldiers on 1 April at a water point in Umbaro, Darfur, in which five Senegalese soldiers lost their lives. The Presidency offers its sincere condolences to the families of the soldiers.
The incident is the latest in a worrying series of attacks on AMIS forces, following the murder of two Nigerian AMIS soldiers on 5 March and the shooting of an AMIS helicopter on 31 March.
EU Presidency statement on the situation in Ukraine. The European Union is concerned about the current political crisis in Ukraine. The Presidency of the European Union calls on those with political responsibility in Ukraine to settle their current differences on domestic policy in a manner which complies with the constitution and democratic rules. This requires moderation and a willingness to reach political compromise from all those involved. The Presidency of the European Union hopes that Ukraine's ability to act will not be undermined and that relations between the European Union and Ukraine will not be adversely affected.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the occasion of the International day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April 2007. On the occasion of the “International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action” proclaimed by the United Nations, the European Union welcomes the important progress made in the fight against the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines.
Over the last ten years, the European Union and its Member States have consistently provided major political, financial and scientific support to mine action worldwide, amounting to a total of around 1.5 billion Euros.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the constitutional reform process in Egypt. The EU has been actively following the constitutional reform process in Egypt that was finalised by referendum on March 26. The EU notes that the referendum took place only a few days after parliamentary approval, thus leaving little time for public debate. The EU encourages reform efforts leading to wider participation of the population in the political process.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the situation in the Republic of Guinea. The European Union welcomes the formation of a new government of broad consensus in Guinea by Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté on 28 March, following intense consultations with all the political players, the trade unions and civil society. The mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), represented by the former Head of State of Nigeria, Mr Babangida, and Dr Ibn Chambas, President of the ECOWAS Commission, have once again played their part in bringing about progress towards overcoming the crisis.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in Somalia. The Presidency of the European Union reaffirms its grave concern at the renewed and serious outbreaks of fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu since 29 March. The Presidency deeply deplores the massive loss of human life, including the death of a Ugandan soldier serving on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as the large number of injuries sustained.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the formation of the Interim Government of Nepal. The EU congratulates the newly formed Nepalese interim government on its assumption of office. The EU considers the promulgation of the interim constitution, and the formation of the interim parliament and government, as important milestones in the peace process in Nepal. They lay the ground for re-establishing stable democratic structures and institutions and, in the long term, a sustainable peace. The EU looks to the new government to operate in line with democratic principles, to tackle impunity, to deliver reforms through state institutions and to dismantle any parallel structures.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the presidential elections in Mauritania. The European Union is pleased that the elections were generally calm, transparent and properly conducted, as attested by the European Union electoral observation mission in Mauritania. The Mauritanian people have thus had the opportunity to express their political will through free, pluralist elections.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the signing of the border treaty between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on 27 March 2007. On 27 March 2007, the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation signed a border treaty in Moscow following negotiations. On behalf of the European Union the Presidency welcomes the signing of this treaty. It is a sign of the increasing confidence between Latvia and Russia and a contribution to the deepening of a partnership between the EU and the Russian Federation based on trust. The European Union looks forward to early ratification of the treaty. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
EU Presidency Statement on the submission today to the UN Security Council. The Secretary-General of the United Nations submitted today to the UN Security Council the proposal for a Kosovo status settlement drawn up by Martti Ahtisaari, the UN Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo.
The Presidency of the European Union strongly supports the proposal put forward by the former President of Finland. His proposal for a Kosovo status settlement is designed to foster the building of a multi-ethnic, democratic society in Kosovo based on the rule of law.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Massive human suffering was brought to the African continent by the trans-atlantic slave trade. Over a period of more than 300 years, millions of men, women and children were shipped to the Americas. Millions more died in the slave hunts in Africa and during what has been called the “Middle Passage” to destinations in the New World of the Americas. The European Union acknowledges and profoundly regrets their tragic plight .
EU Presidency Statement on the detention of British seamen by Iran. The Presidency of the Council of the European Union calls upon the Iranian Government to immediately release the 15 British seamen detained yesterday. It is consulting closely in this matter with the Government of the United Kingdom. The German Ambassador in Tehran has made a demarche vis-à-vis the Iranian Government in the same vein.
EU Presidency Statement on the situation in Somalia. The Presidency of the European Union views with grave concern the recent fighting in Mogadishu. It condemns in the strongest terms the shooting down of a plane that was under way on behalf of the African peace mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It calls upon all parties to end the fighting immediately.
The Presidency of the European Union emphasizes the urgent need to respect the ceasefire agreement concluded between the Ethiopian Army and the Hawiye Clan in Mogadishu on 22 March.
EU Presidency Statement on the violent clashes in Kinshasa (Congo). The Presidency of the European Union views with grave concern the recent outbreak of violence in Kinshasa. Since yesterday afternoon (22 March) violent clashes have occurred in several parts of the city.
The Presidency strongly appeals to all parties to end the fighting immediately and refrain from any action that could lead to a further escalation of the situation. The suffering of the civilian population must not be allowed to continue.
EU Presidency statement in advance of the March 25 demonstrations in Minsk. The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned by ongoing intimidation by the authorities of Belarus toward NGO activists, political party leaders and young people in advance of a planned peaceful demonstration in Minsk on March 25.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March 2007. On 21 March, the day of the "Sharpeville massacre" committed in 1960, the UN observes the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Almost 50 years later, the lessons of Sharpeville have lost none of their pertinence for worldwide action against racism, xenophobia and discrimination which are still a daily reality in many countries.
EU Presidency statement on the arrest and ill-treatment of opposition politicians in Zimbabwe. The EU Presidency was outraged and deeply concerned by the news of the arrest and brutal treatment of the opposition MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC) on 18 March. Mr Chamisa was on his way to Brussels to attend a meeting of parliamentarians from ACP and EU countries. He is now lying in a critical condition in a Harare hospital under police guard.
Declaration by the Presidency of the EU on the Formation of a Palestinian Government of National Unity. 1. The Presidency of the EU welcomes the formation of a Palestinian Government of National Unity pursuant to the agreement reached in Mecca on 8 February 2007, which lays the foundation for Palestinian reconciliation.
2. The Presidency of the EU recalls the readiness of the EU to work with and to resume its assistance to a legitimate Palestinian government adopting a platform reflecting the Quartet principles. The EU will carefully assess the platform and actions of the new government and its ministers.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the first round of the presidential elections in Mauritania. The European Union is pleased that the first round of the Mauritanian presidential elections, on 11 March 2007, was generally peaceful. The European Union Electoral Observation Mission was privileged to be a close witness to the first round of this poll, which is crucial for a return to democracy. The European Union congratulates the government on creating the conditions for Mauritanian voters to choose the President of the Republic completely freely, without constraint or pressure, from among various different candidates. The relatively high turnout attests to the Mauritanian people's profound desire to begin a new chapter in the history of their country and to help establish a lasting and stable democracy in the country.
EU Presidency Statement on the Presidential Elections in Senegal. The Constitutional Council of the Republic of Senegal having confirmed on 11 March the results of the presidential elections, the Presidency of the EU notes with satisfaction the peaceful atmosphere in which the elections took place and congratulates President Abdoulaye Wade on his re-election.
The Presidency of the EU congratulates the people of Senegal on the remarkably high voter participation and the active engagement in support of democracy expressed thereby.
EU Presidency Statement: Presidency demands release of detainees in Zimbabwe. The Presidency of the European Union has noted the release of 14 members of the opposition and is calling for the immediate release of the other participants in a church sponsored rally (a so called Prayer Meeting) of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign arrested on Sunday (11 March). It was deeply concerned to learn of the serious injuries suffered by the opposition leaders as a result of maltreatment.
EU Presidency statement on the violent break-up of a peaceful rally in Zimbabwe. The Presidency of the European Union condemns the violent break-up of a peaceful, church sponsored rally (a so called Prayer Meeting) of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, during which one participant was killed, one was injured and many, including the opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Artur Mutambara, were arrested and in some cases abused. The Presidency expresses its condolences to the family of the participant killed.
EU Presidency Statement on the planned Iraq conference. The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the Iraqi Government’s initiative to hold a conference with Iraq’s neighbouring States at which other members of the international community will participate.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU concerning the signing of the political agreement in Côte d'Ivoire. The European Union welcomes the signing of the political agreement on 4 March 2007 in Ouagadougou between the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and the Secretary-General of the New Forces. It commends the mediation by President Blaise Compaoré, President-in-office of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).
The European Union calls upon the signatories to the agreement and the other actors in the Côte d'Ivoire crisis to take decisive action to implement the recommended measures so that the peace process defined in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1721 may be relaunched.
EU Presidency statement on the arrest of women's rights activists in Iran. The Presidency of the European Union expresses its deep concern following the arrest of Iranian women's rights activists by Iranian security forces during a peaceful demonstration in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court building in Tehran on 4 March 2007. Those arrested were conducting a peaceful protest against the ongoing trial of five of their colleagues, accused by the Iranian court of breaching the public order and security as a result of their participation in a peaceful demonstration for women's rights in June 2006.
EU Presidency Statement on the killing of two AMIS soldiers in Sudan/Darfur. The Presidency of the European Union strongly condemns the attack on a team of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the subsequent abduction and killing of two Nigerian AMIS soldiers in Graida, Darfur, on 5 March, which was apparently perpetrated by elements of Minni Minawi's faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement. The Presidency offers its condolences to the families of the two soldiers. The Presidency joins the African Union in calling on the leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement to fully cooperate with AMIS in investigating the crime and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
EU Presidency statement on the series of attacks on Shia pilgrims in Iraq.
The Presidency of the European Union is deeply shocked by the series of attacks carried out on Shia pilgrims in Iraq today (6 March), killing more than 100 people, many of them women and children.
EU Presidency statement on the appointment of the new Prime Minister and the swearing-in of the new Government in Lesotho. The Presidency welcomes the peaceful conduct of the National Assembly elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho which concluded with the appointment of the new Prime Minister and the swearing-in of the new Government last Friday (2 March).
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU concerning the recent so-called "Parliamentary elections" in Abkhazia, Georgia on 4 March 2007. The European Union reiterates its full support for the territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and emphasises that it does not recognise the legitimacy of the so-called "Parliamentary elections" held in Abkhazia, Georgia, on 4 March 2007 and of the local elections held on 11 February 2007.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the situation in the Republic of Guinea. The European Union welcomes the appointment of Mr Lansana Kouyaté as Prime Minister on 26 February 2007. This appointment constitutes an important step towards a government based on broad consensus and in implementing the agreement signed between the government and the trade unions. The European Union expects the Prime Minister to be vested with the executive powers provided for in that agreement and necessary to the accomplishment of his task. It also welcomes the unanimous vote by parliament not to extend the state of siege.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the International Criminal Court’s investigation into Darfur. On 27 February the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague applied to the Pre-Trial Chamber to issue summonses to appear against Ahmad Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior of the Government of Sudan, and Ali Kushayb, a Militia leader. The Prosecutor, after completing the necessary investigative steps, has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that these two individuals bear criminal responsibility in relation to 51 counts of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, including persecution, torture, murder and rape committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004.
EU Presidency statement on the shelling of a diplomatic delegation in Sri Lanka. "The EU Council Presidency condemns today's shell attack by the LTTE on a diplomatic delegation visiting the Batticaloa region in the east of the country by invitation of the Sri Lankan Government. We wish the ambassador of the Italian Republic and other delegation members who have suffered injury a swift and complete recovery. This serious incident renews the European Union's concerns about the current developments in Sri Lanka. The European Union urges both sides to stop the violence immediately and to return to the negotiating table without delay in order to find a viable solution to the conflict on the basis of constructive proposals.
EU Presidency statement on the International Court of Justice's judgment. On 26 February 2007 the International Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the case concerning the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro).
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the fifth anniversary of the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt in Colombia. The fifth anniversary of the kidnapping, on 23 February 2002, of Ms Ingrid Betancourt and her campaign director once again brings home to the international community the tragedy suffered every day by the hostages held in Colombia. Some have been held for nine years.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the situation in the Comoros. The European Union is concerned by the recent political tensions between the Union of the Comoros and its member autonomous islands, arising from disagreement over the application of the institutional laws on the distribution of powers between Union and islands. These tensions disrupt the operation of the state and undermine the new institutions put in place by the Fomboni process. The European Union supports the steps taken by the members of the international community present in the Comoros to help the authorities of the Union and the autonomous islands to resume their discussions and to find agreement in a spirit of dialogue and concern for national unity.
EU Presidency statement on the bombings in northern India. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the murderous attack on the "Friendship Express" between India and Pakistan which killed and injured so many people in northern India today. It offers its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a swift and complete recovery. This act of mindless violence in the run-up to Pakistan Foreign Minister Kasuri's visit to India is clearly intended to disrupt the process of rapprochement between Pakistan and India.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the Presidential Elections in Turkmenistan. The European Union continues to follow developments in Turkmenistan with great interest.
The European Union hopes that the recent presidential elections in Turkmenistan will pave the way for internal reforms, in particular in the fields of human rights and democracy. The European Union notes that the new President announced a number of reforms in his inaugural speech. The European Union and Turkmenistan are committed to common values through their membership in the United Nations and the OSCE. The European Union is ready to strengthen cooperation on the implementation of UN and OSCE agreements and resolutions. The European Union is willing to support Turkmenistan as a stable, independent country and to assist the new government in implementing democratic values and market economy principles.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the situation in the Republic of Guinea. The European Union is dismayed that violence has continued in Guinea since the President's appointment of a Prime Minister and again bitterly regrets the loss of human lives. It condemns the violent crackdown on demonstrations and regrets the declaration of a state of siege. The restrictions on freedoms, especially on radio broadcasts, constitute a step backwards in the implementation of the undertakings given by the Government in connection with the consultations held under the Cotonou Agreement.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the Six Party Talks. The EU welcomes the agreement which was reached by the participants at the last round of the Six Party Talks that ended on 13 February. The accord constitutes a first important step towards the implementation of the commitments that were laid down in the Joint Declaration of the Six Parties of 19 September 2005.
EU Presidency statement on the bomb blasts in Lebanon. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeted attacks on two buses in Lebanon which today claimed several lives and left many injured. It offers its heartfelt condolences to the victims' families and good wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the situation in the Republic of Guinea. The European Union welcomes the agreement reached on 27 January 2007 between the unions and the Government, which provides for the appointment of a Prime Minister with executive powers.
The European Union very much hopes that that appointment will be made without delay and by consensus, that it will help to bring the political crisis to an end, and that it will enable the EU to resume a constructive dialogue with the new authorities in the framework of the consultations under way since 2004 under the Cotonou agreement.
EU Presidency Statement on the death of an EU diplomat in Côte d'Ivoire. The Presidency of the European Union was greatly shocked to hear of the murder of a French diplomat working for the European Commission Delegation in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire).
EU Presidency Statement on the suicide bombing in Baghdad on 3 February. The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is profoundly shocked by the suicide bombing in a crowded market-place in Baghdad, which left over 100 people dead, including many women and children, and over 200 injured. The Presidency condemns this brutal act in the strongest possible terms. To those who have lost loved ones it offers heartfelt condolences and to those who have been injured good wishes for a speedy recovery. It calls on all groups to take a determined stand against the ongoing violence in Iraq.
EU Presidency Statement on the Kosovo status proposals to be presented today by Martti Ahtisaari in Belgrade and Pristina. Martti Ahtisaari, the UN Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, is in Belgrade and Pristina today to present his comprehensive proposal on Kosovo status settlement. His proposals build on almost twelve months of direct talks between Belgrade and Pristina.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the imminent execution of three Ahwazi Men in Iran. The European Union deplores the execution of four Ahwazi Arab men on 24 January sentenced to death in Iran for alleged involvement in terrorist activities in the Ahwaz region.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the situation of Hmong refugees in Thailand. The European Union welcomes the fact that the Royal Thai Government has halted preparations to forcibly deport a group of 153 Hmongs to the Lao P.D.R on 30 January 2007. Most of those affected enjoy refugee status according to UNHCR procedures. The European Union underlines that prior to 30 January 2007 several third countries had agreed to accept the 153 Hmongs for resettlement. It considers the deportation of recognized refugees to be a clear violation of the internationally accepted principle of non-refoulement and calls on the Royal Thai Government to cooperate with UNHCR and those countries willing to accept Hmongs for resettlement in the interests of finding of a humanitarian solution to the problem.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the occasion of the Third World Congress against the Death Penalty, Paris 1 - 3 February 2007. On the occasion of the Third World Congress against Death Penalty the EU reiterates its longstanding active opposition to the death penalty.
The EU is at the forefront of abolitionist efforts around the world and will continue to oppose the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances because it considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhuman punishment.
EU Presidency Statement on the Escalation of the Intra-Palestinian Fighting. The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned over the escalation of violence between Palestinian factions which in recent days has claimed the lives of more than 30 people, including civilians, with dozens left injured.
EU Presidency Statement on the suicide bombing in Eilat in Israel. The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest terms the suicide attack perpetrated on 29 January in Eilat where three people were killed and many others wounded. It offers condolences to the families of the victims and its sympathy to the injured. Such attacks are aimed at innocent civilians with the goal of derailing the peace process.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on a Chinese test of an anti-satellite weapon. The EU is very concerned about a recent weapons test where a Chinese missile destroyed a Chinese satellite.A test of an anti-satellite weapon is inconsistent with international efforts to avert an arms race in outer space and undermines security in outer space. In this context the EU reaffirms the importance of security in outer space, and the urgency of preventing an arms race in outer space and is ready to contribute to that objective. EU stands by its position that the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be for peaceful purposes only and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries.
EU Presidency Statement on the violent clashes in Lebanon. The Presidency of the European Union is following with great concern the violent clashes in Lebanon, which today claimed at least one life and caused numerous injuries. It appeals to all parties to refrain from all forms of violence and to do everything they can to prevent the escalation of the situation. The current crisis in Lebanon can only be resolved through intra-Lebanese dialogue, by upholding democratic processes and by respecting the democratic legitimacy of the country's institutions.
Presidency statement on the situation in Guinea. The European Union is following with great concern the increasing tensions in the Republic of Guinea. The loss of human lives during protests in Conakry, Labé and Mamou on 17 and 18 January is particularly alarming. The EU Presidency calls upon all parties involved to avoid any acts of intimidation or actions that could lead to violent clashes.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the acquittal of five accused persons in Burundi. The European Union, which had expressed its concern when the accused were arrested, welcomes the acquittal and release of the public figures implicated in the preparation of a putative attempted coup in Burundi. It also welcomes the recent release of the journalists and activists from civil society. These releases contribute to a positive climate which strengthens the rule of law and democratic institutions. The European Union hopes that these moves represent an encouraging step towards a democracy in which freedom of expression is respected
Presidency statement on the assassination of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. The Presidency was shocked to learn of the assassination of the respected Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul. Hrant Dink was a courageous man whose journalism was marked by his strong commitment to democracy and freedom of expression and who was prepared to take great personal risks for his work. He always strove to present a balanced picture and avoided provoking confrontations. He staunchly supported the democratic reforms in Turkey.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on local elections in Albania. The EU welcomes the consensual agreement reached by the political parties on 12 January
on the modalities of the forthcoming local elections, and the subsequent adoption of the
legal amendments to the Constitution and the Electoral Code by the Albanian Parliament
on 13 January. The EU commends President Moisiu for his decisive role in mediating the
agreement. The EU stresses that all Albanian political forces must now implement the
agreement by working together constructively and in good faith and by proceeding with
the electoral preparations without further delay.
German Presidency statement on the violent clashes in Cochabamba. The Presidency noted with great concern the recent violent clashes in Cochabamba. The loss of life that occurred as a result is particularly alarming. The Presidency calls upon all parties to resolve their differences in a spirit of tolerance and dialogue while fully respecting human rights, democratic principles and institutions, and to refrain from acts of violence.
Presidency statement on the local elections in Belarus. The Presidency of the European Union notes with regret that the local elections held in Belarus on 14 January 2007 did not meet democratic standards. Unfortunately the Belarusian Government failed again to create the basic conditions for voters to freely express their will.
The rights to freedom of opinion, of association and of assembly, as well as the rights of the opposition, were seriously impaired. The European Union has received reports of police raids on campaign offices, the registration of candidates being hampered and the arrest of opposition politicians and Belarusian election monitors.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the release of five student leaders in Burma/Myanmar. The European Union welcomes the release of former student leaders and civil society actors Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Htay Kywe, Min Zeya and Pyone Cho in the early morning of 11 January 2007 by the authorities of Burma/Myanmar. These individuals had been kept in detention without any charges since late September 2006, having previously spent several years in prison. The EU hopes that in future the five student leaders will be able to freely exercise their democratic rights.
Presidency Declaration on behalf of the EU on the recent political developments in Bangladesh. The European Union is monitoring events in Bangladesh closely following the latest developments, including the decision by President Iajuddin Ahmed to impose a state of emergency and to relinquish his post as Chief Advisor in the Caretaker Government.
The EU hopes that the newly appointed Chief Advisor and his Caretaker Government concentrate their efforts to create the conditions conducive to the holding of credible democratic elections as soon as possible.
European Union Presidency statement on the plane crash in Sulawesi/Indonesia. The Presidency of the European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the Government and people of Indonesia following the crash of an Adam Air aircraft en route from Surabaya to Manado on 1 January 2007. The Presidency extends its deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those killed in this tragic accident."
Statement by the Presidency of the European Union on Iraq. The Presidency of the European Union shares the concerns expressed yesterday by the President of the United States of America, George Bush, regarding the ongoing violence and daily bloodshed in Iraq. It strongly condemns the increasing ethnic and religious violence which claims the lives of dozens of innocent people every day. The Presidency emphasizes the European's Union's commitment to a secure, stable and united Iraq. The European Union will continue to support the Iraqi Government in its efforts to reconstruct and stabilize the country, and stands prepared to extend this commitment to the extent that the security situation on the ground allows this.
Statement by the Presidency on the resumption of Russian oil supplies through Belarus. We very much welcome the fact that crude oil supplies to the European Union have resumed.
Disputes over energy matters should always be settled in an orderly, non-confrontational manner, with the help of arbitration, for example. The relevant instruments are provided for in the Energy Charter.
Presidency statement on the intended executions in Iraq. The Iraqi Government intends to execute Barzan Ibrahim Al-Tikriti, formerly head of one of the intelligence services, and Awad Hamed Al-Bandar, formerly president of the Revolutionary Court. The Presidency recalls the longstanding position of the EU with regard to the death penalty. The EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances.
EU Presidency statement on the election of the new Chairperson of the African Union, President John Kufuor of Ghana. The Presidency congratulates President John Kufuor of Ghana on his election as new Chairperson of the African Union. In recent years the African Union has become a major international player. The contribution it makes to strengthening democracy and stability and especially to resolving conflicts is of great importance for the whole African continent.