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Three young girls from the same family were killed in an attack in Tripoli on Monday, adding to an already too high a number of civilian casualties of escalating violence in Libya. We express our deep condolences to the family of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the family members injured in the attack.

EU foreign affairs ministers, gathered today in Luxembourg for a Foreign Affairs Council, have condemned Turkey's military action in north east Syria. "We have a common united European Union position … on the developments in the north-east of Syria … there is a clear condemnation from the European Union’s side of Turkey’s military action", said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the Council.

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The Council focussed on the situation in Syria, including north-east Syria, and on Turkey's drilling activities. Foreign ministers discussed Ukraine and had an exchange of views with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

Check against delivery!

Thank you very much.

I think that you have already seen the outcome of this Foreign Affairs Council, so we will follow the example of the last [Foreign Affairs] Councils and I will be very short in my introduction to let you have more time for the questions.

The value and virtue of democracy is being challenged more than ever around the world. Even though global levels of democracy remain high, there is growing trend towards authoritarianism. 

In light of Turkey’s continued illegal drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, the Council reaffirms its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law. It recalls its conclusions of 15 July 2019 in all its parts, and notably that delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.

The Council recalls the 9 October 2019 Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union and urges Turkey again to cease its unilateral military action in North East Syria and to withdraw its forces.

As close friends and partners of Japan, we are very saddened by the devastation and loss of life caused by Typhoon Hagibis. While major rescue operations are still underway, we express our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims, and our sympathy to those affected.

Our thoughts are with the first responders working to save lives.

The European Union stands in full solidarity with Japan and is ready to provide any assistance that can be required at this difficult time.

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