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November Foreign Affairs Council: Ukraine/Ebola & Middle East Peace Process dominate

High Representative Federica Mogherini chaired the Foreign Affairs Council today for the first time. Ukraine was the main focus of discussion with EU Foreign Ministers.

Ukraine

The Council once more reiterated the EU’s support for the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum.  A sustainable political solution of the crisis needs to be based on the respect for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Alarmed by the recent heavy shelling and by reports about convoys moving in the separatist held areas, EU Foreign Ministers again underlined the Russian Federation’s responsibility in this context. The Council called in particular for a halt to the continuous violations of the ceasefire, a withdrawal of all illegal and foreign forces, mercenaries and military equipment, as well as for securing the Ukrainian-Russian border with permanent monitoring by the OSCE.

The Ukrainian elections on 26 October were an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate its democratic development, the Council said. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, added: “We also made it clear that we ask the new government to commit to reforms internally as this is crucial to guarantee that EU support and assistance is there. I will pay a visit to Kiev as soon as the new government is formed. “ Having assessed the situation on the ground, the Council called on the European External Action Service and the Commission to present a proposal on additional listings targeting separatists. A decision is due by the end of this month.

In the margins of the Council High Representative Mogherini and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin signed the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) between the EU and Ukraine on the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine (EUAM), which will be launched on 1 December. The mission will advise on reforms in the civilian security sector in Ukraine and mentor the implementation of reforms.

Read more.

Middle East Peace Process (MEPP)

The Council condemned the rising death toll and expressed its condolences for the loss of life. EU foreign ministers are particularly concerned about the recurrent violent clashes at the Haram al- Sharif / Temple Mount. The EU appeals for full respect of the Holy Sites. Any change of the status quo would have deeply destabilizing effects. The Council fully acknowledges the role of Jordan as Custodian to the Muslim Holy Shrines in Jerusalem and welcomes the tripartite meeting in Amman on 13 November between King Abdullah, Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu where concrete steps towards a calming down of the situation were agreed upon

Read more.

Ebola

The spread of the Ebola virus is continuing to take lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and having profound effects across the West Africa region and beyond. There is also concern about the new confirmed cases in Mali. EU foreign ministers reaffirmed the strong commitment of the EU to step up even further its response in containing, combatting and eventually controlling the epidemic.

Read more.

Press Conference Mogherini

Part 1: http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/foreign-affairs-council-november-2014/press-conference-part-16551962269391756

Part 2: http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/foreign-affairs-council-november-2014/press-conference-part-2-qa44

Part 3: http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/foreign-affairs-council-november-2014/press-conference-part-3-qa269

Part 4:http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/foreign-affairs-council-november-2014/press-conference-part-4-cutaways59

Links:

Council conclusions on Ukraine, 17 November 2014

Launch of the EU advisory mission on civilian security sector reform Ukraine

Comprehensive press release