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30/08/2020 - Le Journal du Dimanche - This summer has not been a restful one. From the explosion in the port of Beirut to the seizure of power by the army in Mali, the war in Libya, the tensions caused by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, the presidential elections in Belarus, and the alleged poisoning of a Russian opposition leader, our neighbourhood has been constantly on the brink of conflagration. But what is the relationship between these events? At first glance, there is none. On closer inspection, however, they all bear witness to the emergence of powers intent on reviving memories of great empires of the past.

The European Union is deeply saddened by the death of Ebru Timtik, a lawyer who has been on hunger strike for 238 days following her conviction last year for alleged membership of a terrorist organisation. She is the fourth prisoner to die this year as the result of a hunger strike, following the deaths of Helin Bölek and Ibrahim Gökçek, two musicians from the Grup Yorum band, and Mustafa Koçak. We offer our condolences to their families.

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Thank you very much for being here today.

First of all, I would like to thank very much my colleague and friend, Heiko [Maas, Foreign Affairs Minister of Germany], for hosting us here in Berlin for the past two days. It has been an extraordinarily well prepared Gymnich and the Germans showed their capacity to host this meeting. Thank you, Heiko [Maas].

A flight from the European Union (EU) humanitarian air bridge will land in Abidjan today, carrying medical equipment and PPE for Ivorian health personnel. The shipment includes medical outfits, masks and refrigerators, to protect the people of Côte d'Ivoire and ensure their access to healthcare, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

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27/08/2020 - Several Outlets - To avoid becoming entrenched between the US and China, the EU should deal with them in its own way: it should look at the world from its own point of view, defending its values and interests, and using the instruments of power available to it.

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Good morning to all of you.

[Today], we are going to talk about very important issues. We are going to talk about Belarus and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. Everybody is focussing on what kind of decisions we will propose regarding sanctions. We are going to discuss that.

As you know, this is an informal meeting; it cannot take decisions, only political proposals that will be developed later.

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Good evening.

Today, we have had the first physical meeting of Defence Ministers since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March.

I am sure that coming together has allowed us to go deeper into the several sensitive issues that we have to deal with in this difficult summer.

26/08/2020 - Foreign policy never stops. But the summer of 2020 has been exceptionally busy, with a seemingly never-ending series of crises: in Lebanon, Belarus, Mali and the Eastern Mediterranean. At the informal Gymnich meeting in Berlin (27-28 August) we must forge a common way forward. It is both urgent and feasible to strengthen Europe’s international clout.

We, as friends of the Belarusian people and supporters of the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Belarus, stand by the people’s wish for democratic change.

We have clearly and repeatedly expressed our positions regarding the conduct of the 9 August presidential elections in Belarus and their aftermath. The presidential elections were neither free nor fair.

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