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I congratulate Maithripala Sirisena on his election as President of Sri Lanka. The EU looks forward to working with him to further develop its relations with Sri Lanka.

The EU will continue to support Sri Lanka in its development as a prosperous and inclusive democracy for the benefit of all its citizens.

I also wish to pay tribute to the Sri Lankan people and authorities for the overall conduct of the election and the strong voter turnout, which augur well for the democratic process.

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[Check against delivery]

The Commission, which I represent here today for this matter is, like you, appalled by the findings of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Programme, part of which was released on 9 December (most of the inquiry remains classified).

This report raises important questions as regards serious violations of fundamental rights by the US authorities and by other persons at the service of the CIA between late 2001 and January 2009.

The attack today on a military school in Peshawar leaves all of us in shock. When innocents are killed, when children are targeted in their place of study, it is an attack not only on universally recognised values and rights but also on the future of the country, on all our futures. 

I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and my support to the people and the authorities of Pakistan on this tragic day.

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Today is the second anniversary of the unexplained disappearance of Sombath Somphone in Vientiane, Laos.

Sombath Somphone is a recipient of the Magsaysay prize, a highly-respected member of civil society in Laos and the successful co-organiser of the Asia-Europe People-to-People Forum that took place in Laos in 2012. He has many friends not only in Laos and throughout Asia, but also in Europe.

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Today is the second anniversary of the unexplained disappearance of Sombath Somphone in Vientiane, Laos.

Sombath Somphone is a recipient of the Magsaysay prize, a highly-respected member of civil society in Laos and the successful co-organiser of the Asia-Europe People-to-People Forum that took place in Laos in 2012. He has many friends not only in Laos and throughout Asia, but also in Europe.

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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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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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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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