The execution by the US State of Texas, on 29 January 2015, of Robert Charles Ladd, in spite of the evidence that he was affected by an intellectual disability, is contrary to international human rights law.
The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and irreversible, and does not serve any deterrent purpose. The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances and aims at its universal abolition, seeking a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step.
We had a very fruitful meeting of the Council, that, as you know, I decided to convene after the attacks on Mariupol, on the request of some Member States, in agreement with President Tusk, with President Juncker – to not only assess the situation on the ground that is extremely worrying and negative, but also to decide on our reaction to that. And on the further steps to be taken at the European Union level.
As you know, after the unacceptable attack in Mariupol, I decided to convene this extraordinary Council, also on the request of Members States and in agreement with President Tusk. We have discussed the situation in these days – last time a few hours ago with President Poroshenko. On Sunday I had a conversation with Foreign Minister Lavrov and in these hours I'm in constant contact with Ambassador Tagliavini who, as you know, is working in the trilateral contact group, in these hours in Kyiv, also in view of a possible meeting in Minsk in the coming hours.
The European Union welcomes the announcement of an agreement by the BiH Presidency on the Written Commitment to undertake reforms in the framework of the EU Accession Process. The text of the Written Commitment presented today, which consolidates input provided also by party leaders, is consistent with the requirements set out in the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of 15 December 2014. The European Union calls on all party leaders to confirm their explicit support to this Written Commitment.
The E3 Political Directors and their Iranian counterparts will meet on 29 January 2015 in Istanbul for a one-day meeting as part of ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. EU Political Director Helga Schmid has been invited to join the meeting.
The meeting underlines the commitment and importance that the E3 - France, Germany and the United Kingdom- as well as the EU attach to making progress as soon as possible towards a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
The execution of Warren Lee Hill in the US State of Georgia on 27 January 2015, in spite of the indications that he suffered from a mental disability, is contrary to widely accepted human rights norms and to the minimum standards set forth according to international human rights law.
We regret that the numerous calls for clemency, including those of the EU, went unheeded.
Today's attacks on the Lebanese-Israeli border are undermining the cessation of hostilities established by UNSC Resolution 1701 and the peacebuilding efforts along the Blue Line.
The threats to Israel on its Northern border must stop. The EU calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities. An escalation of violence could be detrimental to the region as a whole in these difficult times.
On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I join people all over the world in commemorating a crime unparalleled in human history, a crime in which six million Jews as well as millions of other innocent victims, Roma, political prisoners, prisoners of war, disabled people, homosexuals, were murdered in Nazi death camps.
This year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day has a special resonance since it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination Camp.