In the statement by the Spokesperson on the execution in Belarus of Siarhei Vostrykau, the European Union again reaffirms its strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances. Indeed the continued application of the death penalty goes counter to Belarus’ stated willingness to engage with the international community, including the European Union, on the matter and to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The European Union urges Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, to commute the remaining death sentences and to introduce without delay a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition.
European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said on April 28 that accession talks with Turkey have not been halted and she still wants it to join, if Ankara can meet necessary conditions. Her remarks, following a EU foreign ministers meeting in Valletta, came after recent calls from some countries that negotiations over Turkey’s potential membership of the bloc should be stopped. Germany urged its EU peers not to end accession talks, saying the country is key to European interests, not least as a NATO ally. The criteria are very clear, well known and if Turkey is interested in joining, as the foreign minister told us today, “it knows very well what that implies, especially in the field of human rights, rule of law, democracy and freedoms”, she said.
France supports the enhancement of the relations between Azerbaijan and EU and the signing of a new strategic partnership agreement between the sides, said Florans Manjen, Director of Continental Europe Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France. She made the remarks during a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku April 26, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said. Citing the successful cooperation in energy field between the two countries Minister Mammadyarov said that there are favorable opportunities in other areas for French companies as well. The minister put an emphasis on works related to TAP project, as well as North-South and East-West corridors and prospects of these projects.
Turkey will not wait at Europe’s door forever and is ready to walk away from EU accession talks if rising Islamophobia and hostility from some member states persist, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview on April 25.Speaking at his presidential palace less than two weeks after scoring a tight victory in an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, Erdoğan said a decision by a leading European human rights body to put Turkey back on a watch list was “entirely political” and that Ankara did not recognize the move. The Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said it put Turkey back on review over its wave of arrests since the July 2016 coup attempt, rights violations and concerns about Erdoğan’s increased grip on power.
The meeting provided the opportunity to address the implementation of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) with regard to nuclear and sanctions related commitments. The Joint Commission particularly welcomed the important progress made on the Arak modernisation project, where Chinese and Iranian companies signed the first consultancy services contract on Sunday, 23 April, in Vienna. Participants discussed the importance of implementation of Annex III of the JCPOA on civil nuclear cooperation, and welcomed in this context the recent EU-Iran high-level seminar on international nuclear cooperation.
During an official visit to Haiti after the appointment of a new Government, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimicaannounced a new EU aid package. The first of which is a special allocation of €18.5 million in response to Hurricane Matthew which hit the island in October 2016. The EU had also provided initial emergency relief last year when the hurricane struck the country. The second part of support through the signature with the Prime Minister S.E.M Jack Guy Lafontant is a €45 million agreement for the construction of the National Road #3, connecting Port-au-Prince to the northern town of Cap Haitian, the second biggest town and port of Haiti.
The Vice Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Meng Hongwei, and Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, signed today a strategic cooperation agreement to expand cooperation to combat cross-border criminal activities. The agreement allows for the exchange of general strategic intelligence as well as strategic and technical information and operational information with the exception of personal data. It will enable both partners to work on key areas such as migrant smuggling, cybercrime, drug trafficking, asset recovery, money laundering, organised property crime and trafficking in human beings.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Herbert Salber. Recalling his visit to Belgium, President Ilham Aliyev noted the useful meetings and discussions held within this visit. Stressing that during this visit it was launched negotiations on a new agreement between EU and Azerbaijan, the head of state named it as an important step to develop bilateral cooperation even more, expressed hope the works would be continued actively and end in time. The president and EU representative had comprehensive exchange of views about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the situation on the contact line and current state of negotiations for solution to the problem and prospects.
EU has expressed its worries on Libyan clashes, which are taking place in South Libya. “The clashes and
escalation of violence in the south of Libya endanger the political process and put Libyan citizens’ lives at risk” it
said in a statement today. EU has also recalled the necessity to pass by negotiation to put a end to the conflict
which is dividing the country since 2015. The statement said that as part of the quartet with the UN, Arab League
and African Union, the EU would continue to support a political settlement based on the UN Security Council’s
framework. Which means that an accord need to be find under the LPA (Libyan Political Agreement) signed on
December 2015 under UN supervision.
The introduction of a visa-free regime for Azerbaijani citizens is one of the topics of discussion between Azerbaijan and the EU, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today.He recalled that Azerbaijan and the EU signed an agreement on visa facilitation and readmission a few years ago, noting that the successful cooperation within the framework of the agreement paved the way for a new phase of discussions.