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Today, the High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini appointed Mr Alain Le Roy as the new Secretary General of the EEAS.

Mr Le Roy is a senior French diplomat who has also served as EU Special Representative in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and as United Nations Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations. Mr Le Roy will take up his functions on 1 March 2015. In preparation for this, he will start working at the EEAS as a Special Adviser to the High Representative from mid-January.

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The framework agreement signed on 30 December 2014 by the Government of the Republic of Djibouti and the Union for National Salvation is a positive step. It paves the way for immediate short‑term and medium‑term democratic and institutional reforms. The EU encourages the two parties to implement the terms of this agreement fully, thereby helping to advance the rule of law, strengthen the foundations for peaceful democratic life, and put an end to the tensions the country has experienced in recent months.

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Recent steps taken by Palestinians and Israelis could aggravate the already tense situation on the ground and bring them further away from a negotiated solution. Both sides should refrain from taking actions which could raise obstacles to the rapid return to the negotiations.

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The HR/VP Federica Mogherini, had this afternoon, a phone call with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, following the executions inflicted yesterday in Saudi Arabia, including that of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

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Today, 2 January 2015, marks the expiration of the six month grace period granted by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the full and unconditional surrender and demobilization of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

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Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the latest violence in Libya.

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Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in Sudan

The decision by the Government of Sudan to expel senior UN officials puts at risk the access to the international assistance that is one of the most immediate needs of the people of Sudan. Instead, the international community would want to see the Government of Sudan take the steps that help lift the country from its current isolation.

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Statement by the Spokesperson on the sentencing of Alexey Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny

The guilty verdict delivered today, Tuesday 30 December, by the Zamoskvoretsky Court against Alexey Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny appears to be politically motivated.

The charges against them have not been substantiated during the trial. With the exception of a few selected representatives of the media, no public and international observers were allowed into the court building for the reading of the verdict.

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The New Year pardon announced by President Aliyev for several prisoners, including a number of journalists and opposition youth activists held in detention, is a welcome step.

At the same time a decision to close the Baku bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty contravening Azerbaijan's international commitments to protect media freedom has been taken.

Restoring the international community's faith in the commitment of Azerbaijan to the freedom of expression, a free and independent media, and to the rule of law will require consistent efforts of the authorities in Baku.

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The arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman on 28 December marks a further step in the confrontation between a part of the opposition and the authorities of the Kingdom of Bahrain that carries the risk of jeopardizing an already difficult political and security situation.

The requisite standards of due process have to be ensured, including the presence of Sheikh Ali Salman's legal counsel at all stages, transparency regarding his whereabouts, the objective application of guidelines for release on bail and, should Sheikh Ali Salman be brought to trial, fair and transparent court proceedings.

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