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Vietnam's recent ratification of both the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a crucial and welcome step. The EU stands ready to assist Vietnam in the full implementation of these key human rights Conventions.

The EU encourages all countries worldwide to ratify these Conventions and to respect their provisions.

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Today's agreement in Minsk is definitely a step in the right direction, a very important one, even if we know very well that this is not solving everything. But having good news is definitely better than having bad or very bad news.

The important thing now will be to see the ceasefire entering into force on the night between Saturday and Sunday.  And it will be looking at the implementation of the points that are included in the document.

On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, the High Representative of the European  Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, renewed their commitment to work together to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict.

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This week's plenary in the European parliament was rich in debates on external relations and featured the active engagement of HRVP Mogherini.

The visit of President Mahmoud Abbas was an opportunity for President Jean-Claude Juncker and myself to re-state EU's support for a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, viable State of Palestine living side-by-side with Israel and its other neighbours in peace and security.

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The conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim raises serious questions regarding due process of law.

The European Union regards Malaysia as a key political and economic partner in South East Asia. In that spirit of partnership, the EU wishes to underscore that trust in the administration of justice is an essential component of the democratic process.

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Despite not being a formal point on Foreign Affairs Council, there was substantial discussion by 28 EU foreign ministers on recent diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine when they met on Monday 9 February. They also agreed to step up efforts to counter terrorism, in particular in the Mediterranean, Middle East, North Africa, the Gulf and the Sahel. The meeting also had a strong Africa focus, with conclusions on Nigeria's elections, Mali, Central Africa Republic and Boko Haram being adopted.

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