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The High Representative and EU Foreign ministers discussed the situation in Syria at the beginning of their meeting. The Council held a debate on Venezuela and on Moldova. Foreign ministers had a discussion on the Middle Peace Process with foreign ministers, members of the LAS ministerial delegation on Jerusalem chaired by Jordan (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian Authority).
Countering piracy off the Somali coast, training Palestinian Civilian Police, advising the Iraqi government on civilian security, empowering Malian authorities to fight terrorism: 5,000 men and women work in challenging and at times dangerous circumstances to increase stability in Africa, Europe and the Middle-East. These civilians and military may serve far from home, but they contribute directly to our own security inside the European Union.
The ongoing political transition in Zimbabwe creates high expectations among all Zimbabweans. It can open the way to a full return to the Rule of Law, within a constitutional framework and under civilian rule, allowing for the preparation and implementation of much-needed political and economic reforms. The EU reaffirms its availability to engage constructively with the new authorities including through a structured political dialogue, with political actors across the spectrum, and with civil society, on the basis of a mutual commitment to shared values focused on human rights, democratic principles and the Rule of Law, in coordination with African and international partners.
In view of the continuing deterioration of the situation in Venezuela, the Council decided to put 7 individuals holding official positions under restrictive measures, with immediate effect. These individuals are involved in the non-respect of democratic principles or the rule of law as well as in the violation of human rights. The measures include a travel ban and an asset freeze.