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Israel's latest decision to advance plans for the approval and construction of almost 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, is contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution.

The EU also reiterates its call on the government of Israel to suspend the ongoing bidding process for the construction of housing units for an entirely new settlement in Givat Hamatos.

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On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas enacted a decree-law on holding legislative, presidential and National Council elections in the coming months starting with legislative elections on 22 May.

This is a welcome development as participative, representative and accountable democratic institutions are key for Palestinian self-determination and state-building.

The Council today decided to add Faisal Mekdad to the list of persons subject to EU restrictive measures on Syria, in light of his recent appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
This decision brings to 289 the total number of persons targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze. 70 entities are also subject to an asset freeze.

15/01/2021 – HR/VP Blog – For more than two months, conflict has been raging in the Tigray region in Ethiopia. The situation is desperate for the local population and the conflict is unsettling dynamics both within Ethiopia and the whole region. I have passed a clear message to the Ethiopian leadership: we are ready to help, but unless there is access for humanitarian aid operators, the EU cannot disburse the planned budget support to the Ethiopian government.

Today, Natalina Cea was appointed Head of Mission of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in Libya. She will take up her duties on 1 February 2021 succeeding Vincenzo Tagliaferri, who has been Head of Mission since 1 September 2016.

Today, the EU has requested the establishment of a panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek the elimination of unlawful export restrictions imposed by Indonesia on raw materials necessary for the production of stainless steel, notably nickel ore and iron ore.

The European Union deeply regrets the execution at a federal level in the United States of the first woman in almost seven decades. The EU had called for clemency to be granted to Lisa Montgomery taking into consideration international law and internationally accepted minimum standards that should be respected regarding people with mental disorders.

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The European Investment Fund (EIF) is partnering with the European Commission, to announce €300 million of investments into the EU space sector, supporting ground-breaking innovation in the industry.

During the European Space Conference in Brussels, EIF and the EC jointly announced investments into two space tech focused funds - Orbital Ventures and Primo Space, under the first ever EU-backed equity pilot - the InnovFin Space Equity Pilot.

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Check against delivery!

Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, dear friends,

I am pleased to speak at this year’s European Space Conference. I remember well when we met one year ago and discussed how space has become a key component of the global security equation and how the rise in geo-political tensions we see on Earth are being extended and projected into the space.

The US designation of Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, in addition to the designation of three of its leaders, risks rendering UN-led efforts to reach a comprehensive solution to the Yemen conflict more difficult. It will complicate the necessary diplomatic engagement with Ansar Allah and the work of the international community on political, humanitarian and developmental matters.

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