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"This was the first time for me to chair the FAC council in the format of Development Council.  The EU is a key player in development. Development is a key instrument in prevention of crisis and conflict.  It is also a promoter of human rights and democracy and a tool to support post conflict reconstruction. The upcoming report by EU coordinator and Commissioner for Humanitarian aid Stylianides on Ebola has been discussed by Ministers today and will be transmitted to the European Council.

"This was the first time for me to chair the FAC council in the format of Development Council.  The EU is a key player in development. Development is a key instrument in prevention of crisis and conflict.  It is also a promoter of human rights and democracy and a tool to support post conflict reconstruction. The upcoming report by EU coordinator and Commissioner for Humanitarian aid Stylianides on Ebola has been discussed by Ministers today and will be transmitted to the European Council.

On 11 December 2014, the European Union and Armenia held the sixth round of human rights dialogue in Brussels.

The Armenian delegation was headed by Garen Nazarian, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and included among other officials, the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Arman Tatoyan.

The EU Delegation was headed by Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Director, EEAS, Human Rights and Democracy, European External Action Service and Mrs. Elisabeth Tison, Head of Division.

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As announced after the last E3/EU+3 meeting on 24 November in Vienna, the Political Directors of the E3/EU+3 and Iran will meet again on 17 December 2014 in Geneva for a one-day meeting to continue diplomatic efforts towards reaching a long-term, comprehensive solution. 

[Please note that no press activities are foreseen during the meeting in Geneva.]

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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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David Schwendiman from the United States has been nominated as the new Lead Prosecutor for the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF). The SITF was established by the European Union in 2011 as an independent criminal investigation into the serious allegations contained in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly report of January 2011 by Senator Dick Marty entitled: “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo”.

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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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