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The European Union and its External Action Service played a significant role in 2014 in international efforts to solve major crises in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq, as well as an escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The EU also saw a change of leadership. For the EU's diplomatic service, this saw Federica Mogherini starting her mandate on November 1st as the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, building on the achievements of former High Representative Catherine Ashton. It has been an eventful and intense year for the EU's external action!

HR/VP Federica Mogherini's agenda this week included chairing the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) and the EU-Ukraine Association Council, visiting Ukraine, hosting the Eurochanukah event, speaking to CSDP missions and operations and meeting the leadership of both Moldova and Kosovo.

HR/VP Federica Mogherini will travel to Baghdad on 22 December where she will be meeting the President of the Republic Fuad Masoum, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari. She will also meet with the Speaker of the Council of Representative's (CoR) Ibrahim Al Jabouri. The HR/VP will send a message of solidarity and confirm the EU readiness to deepen the relationship with Iraq.

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HR/VP Federica Mogherini will travel to Baghdad on 22 December where she will be meeting the President of the Republic Fuad Masoum, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari. She will also meet with the Speaker of the Council of Representative's (CoR) Ibrahim Al Jabouri. The HR/VP will send a message of solidarity and confirm the EU readiness to deepen the relationship with Iraq.

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Mme Federica Mogherini, haute représentante/vice-présidente, se rendra à Bagdad le 22 décembre, où elle rencontrera M. Fouad Masoum, président de la République, M. Haider Al-Abadi, Premier ministre, et M. Ibrahim al Jaafari, ministre des affaires étrangères. Une entrevue avec M. Ibrahim Al jabouri, président du Conseil des représentants (CdR), est également prévue lors de sa visite.

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Mme Federica Mogherini, haute représentante/vice-présidente, se rendra à Bagdad le 22 décembre, où elle rencontrera M. Fouad Masoum, président de la République, M. Haider Al-Abadi, Premier ministre, et M. Ibrahim al Jaafari, ministre des affaires étrangères. Une entrevue avec M. Ibrahim Al jabouri, président du Conseil des représentants (CdR), est également prévue lors de sa visite.

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EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini held today a video conference with CSDP missions and operations.

Today's adoption of the resolution "moratorium on the use of death penalty" by the UN General Assembly is a great and encouraging achievement for the abolitionist cause worldwide. The record number of 117 votes in favour clearly shows that consensus is growing within the international community.

The EU, together with all partners, governmental and non governmental, will spare no efforts and will continue to strive for the abolition of this cruel form of punishment.

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L’adoption, ce jour, de la résolution intitulée «Moratoire sur l’application de la peine de mort» par l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies est un signal fort et encourageant pour la cause abolitionniste dans le monde entier. Le nombre record de 117 voix en faveur de la résolution montre clairement qu’un consensus se développe au sein de la communauté internationale.

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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.

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