Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
EU News 318/2014
PR CO 41
3330th Council meeting
Brussels, 22 July 2014
The Council was shocked and deeply saddened by the downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Donetsk and the tragic loss of so many innocent lives. Ministers observed a minute of silence to pay tribute to the victims.
The Council called on the separatist groups in the area to ensure full, immediate, safe and secure access to the site in order to proceed with victim identification as well as to recover remains of those deceased. The EU supports the call for a full, transparent and independent international investigation in accordance with the international civil aviation guidelines. In this context, the Council urged Russia to actively use its influence over the illegally armed groups.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said: "Those directly or indirectly responsible for bringing down this plane must be held accountable and brought to justice."
The Council agreed to accelerate the preparation of the sanctions agreed at the European Council of 16 July. It agreed to expand restrictive measures with a view to targeting individuals supporting or benefitting from Russian decision-makers responsible for the destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine.
The Council also requested the Commission and the European External Action Service to finalise preparatory work on possible targeted measures and to present proposals for action, including on access to capital markets, defence, dual use goods and sensitive technologies, including in the energy sector.
In addition, the Council established the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine, which will advise on a revised strategy for the civilian security sector in Ukraine.
Middle East peace process
Ministers held an in-depth discussion on recent developments in the Middle East.
High Representative Ashton said: "We are extremely concern at the continued escalation of violence in Gaza and condemn the serious loss of life." The Council called for an immediate cessation of the hostilities based on a return to the 4ovember 2012 ceasefire agreement. In this regard, the Council welcomed on-going efforts by regional partners, in particular by Egypt, and reiterated its readiness to provide the necessary support.
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