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The release of detainees by the Yemeni parties on 15 and 16 October, in line with the agreement reached in Geneva last month, is a crucial step in the implementation of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement. It is also a reminder that progress can still be made through negotiation and compromise.

The European Union commends the work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his office for facilitating the release of the detainees and their reunification with their families.

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The European Union deplores the strikes on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja during the night of 16-17 October resulting in civilian loss of life and serious injury. All targeting of civilians and civilian installations by either party must stop.

The ceasefire of 10 October must be fully respected without delay.

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Poverty is a calamity that affects millions of lives and has to be overcome in our days. For the EU, the eradication of poverty has been a key priority in its external action. Support provided by the EU has contributed to a global positive trend to put an end to the phenomenon. The global pandemic is challenging this trend. On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, it is time to reflect on how societies must come together to combat poverty across the globe.

The EU and Brazil held their 8th EU-Brazil High Level Political Dialogue on the Environment Dimension of Sustainable Development on 16 October 2020 (virtual meeting).

Today the Council decided to impose targeted restrictive measures on recently appointed ministers in Syria.

On 15 and 16 October 2020, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, EU-UK relations, climate change and external relations.

Today, the European Commission released a new Financial Tracking Report which tracks the progress of donor funds against their pledges made at the 4th Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region’ on 30 June 2020. This year’s Conference, hosted by the EU and co-chaired with the UN, generated pledges totalling USD 13.8 billion (EUR 12.4 billion) in grants and loans, demonstrating the continued commitment of international donors to address the consequences of the Syrian crisis. This newly released report is the 10th Financial Tracking Report in total produced to track the financial pledges made at the Brussels Syria crisis conferences since 2016.

Food is the essence of life and yet it is something that we may take for granted. The COVID-19 global health crisis has made us rethink the things we truly cherish and our most basic needs. One of these is food. Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for poor and vulnerable communities, hit hardest by the pandemic. The EU is committed to tackle global hunger and contribute to the accomplishment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2: ZERO HUNGER

Warships and maritime patrol aircraft of EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta and a vessel of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force on patrol against piracy paid a joint port call on Djibouti on 15 October. The joint port call follows a joint naval exercise between the European Union (EU) and Japan on 5-6 October in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.

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The European Council assessed the current epidemiological situation, which is unprecedented and gives rise to very serious concern.

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