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High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Fatmir Besimi, today for the first time.
They discussed the challenges the country is facing. The High Representative/Vice-President reaffirmed the European perspective of the country and stressed the importance of the reforms progressing swiftly, the need for all parties to work on a mutually agreed solution to the name issue as well as good neighbourly relations.

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I would like to express my condolences to the family of Minister Ziad Abu Ein, to the Palestinian Authority and to the Palestinian people following Minister Abu Ein's death today in the Palestinian village of Turmusaya. 

Reports of excessive use of force by Israeli Security Forces are extremely worrying: I call for an immediate, independent investigation into Minister Abu Ein's death. This is a dramatic reminder for the entire international community of the deteriorating situation on the ground.

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Today, on the anniversary of the Universal declaration on Human Rights, Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi from India have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting children's rights.

Both of them have fought courageously in their respective countries for the right to education and to free children from slavery, through education, which is the best investment that can be made for the promotion of peace and human rights.

This is why the EU awarded the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought to Malala in 2013.

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The arrest of investigative journalist Ms Khadija Ismayilova by the Azerbaijan authorities last Friday, and her commitment to pre-trial detention on a charge of 'incitement to suicide', is a step against the freedom of expression, key to any democratic society.

Azerbaijan needs to stand fully by its international commitments, as a member of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, to ensure the freedom of the press. The EU will closely follow developments in Ms Ismayilova's case.

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On 8-9 December 2014, the European Union and the People's Republic of China held the 33rd round of the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights in Brussels. The EU delegation was led by Gerhard Sabathil, Director for East Asia and the Pacific in the European External Action Service. The Chinese delegation was led by Li Junhua, Director General for International Organisations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. 
 

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Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement negotiations, issued the following statement today:

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High Representative/Vice-President of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, will travel today to Lebanon where she will meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil.  

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Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement negotiations, issued the following statement today:

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The European Union (EU) has announced it has allocated EUR 688 million (USD 900 million) to Myanmar under its bilateral cooperation programme over the period 2014-2020 to reinforce its support to the country's multiple transition. The funds will help to develop rural areas and agriculture; improve food and nutrition security; support education; improve governance and the rule of law; and contribute to peacebuilding.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development said that:

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The European Union (EU) has announced it has allocated up to EUR 60 million (KIP 60 billion, USD 75 million) to Laos under its bilateral cooperation programme over the period 2014-2015 to improve basic education and food and nutrition security and strengthen good governance as well as the rule of law and human rights.

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