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Visa-free regime: one of topics of discussion between Azerbaijan and EU

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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.

Iran slams extension of EU sanctions by another year

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The EU has proven that it has no realistic and true understanding of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran”, Qassemi said in a statement in response to the EU move to extend its sanctions against Iran until April 2018 over alleged claims of “serious human rights violations”. “The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns the repetitive and improper trend of double-standard and politically-motivated approaches and instrumental use of human rights by the EU, including the extension of unilateral sanctions under the pretext of human rights violations (in Iran), which is a failed and ineffective policy”, he noted. In a statement on Tuesday, the 28-member bloc extended by a year its travel ban and an asset freeze on 82 Iranian people and one entity, as well as a ban on exports to Iran of equipment for monitoring telecommunications and other gear, according to Reuters. It added that the blacklisted names would be published on Wednesday in the EU’s Official Journal. The EU imposed the restrictions on Iran for the first time in 2011.

EU: Protecting all children in migration. Commission outlines priority actions

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Over the past two years, a growing number of children in migration have arrived in the EU, many of them without their families. While EU and Member States’ legislation provide a solid framework for protection, the recent surge in arrivals has put national systems under pressure and exposed gaps and shortcomings. This is why the Commission is today setting out actions to reinforce the protection of all migrant children at all stages of the process. It is necessary to ensure that migrant children are swiftly identified when they arrive in the EU and that they receive child-adequate treatment. Trained personnel need to be available to assist children during their status determination and children should be provided with sustainable long-term perspectives through better access to education and health care. Child protection is a central priority in the European Agenda on Migration and the Commission will continue to support Member States’ efforts through training, guidance, operational support and funding.

Congo: the Bruno Tshibala nominee pushes the country in the crisis

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The Bruno Tshibala nomination as a Prime Minister does not find the consent of many european parthner : the European Union observes the lack of consensus which surrounded his naming. For Brussels Kinshasa should appoint proper election by the end of the year. Kinshasa seems to isolates itself more and more, far from solving the problem the Bruno Tshibala nominee pushes the country in the crisis. It is made clear by the demonstration of the Opposition which create a paralysis of the city of Kinshasa yesterday morning. This was the official declaration by the European Union: The European Union (EU) takes note of the speech of President Kabila of April 5th on the state of the Nation, followed by the name of a new Prime Minister, contrary literally and to the spirit of the Agreement of December 31st, 2016. The UE observes the lack of consensus on this naming and marks its big concern on this matter. The restoring of a wide national consensus for a government appointed for elections before the end of the year is at the heart of said Agreement. In this respect, the EU supports the new resolution 2348 which the United Nations Security Council has just adopted unanimously, who asks RDC to set immediately the Agreement of December 31st, 2016, honestly and in its entirety.

U.S. withdraws from anti-Iran sanction bill over ‘concerns’ about Iran election

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Corker, who is currently the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said on Tuesday that the bill will not move forward for now. The bill was introduced by a group of Democratic and Republican senators in March seeking to slap tighter sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its ballistic missiles. This is while Iran repeatedly says that none of its missiles have been designed to carry nuclear warheads because nuclear weapons have basically no place in the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine. “We’ve got a Iran sanctions bill that has a number of co-sponsors that wasn’t able to markup at present because of concerns about how the European Union might react and (Iranian) elections that are coming up”, Corker said. Iran will hold its next presidential election in May 2017, when principlists hope to defeat moderate President Hassan Rouhani. In 2013 presidential election, Rouhani promised to develop better relations with countries across the world, and partly succeeded to deliver what he had promised after the nuclear agreement went into effect, which led to expansion of ties with mostly Western countries. New sanctions, however, could seriously hurt Rouhani’s chance of victory.

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Syria

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The EU condemns in the strongest terms the air strike that hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on 4 April 2017, which has had horrific consequences, causing the deaths and injuries of scores of civilians including children and relief workers, with many victims displaying symptoms of gas poisoning. The EU urges the United Nations Security Council to come together, strongly condemn the attack on Khan Sheikhoun and ensure a swift, independent and impartial investigation of the attack. Those guilty of violations of international law and the use of chemical weapons have to be sanctioned accordingly. In March, the EU added 4 high-ranking Syrian military officials to the sanctions list for their role in the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, in line with the EU’s policy to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons.

MSF-MoU between Libya and Italy perilous to migrants

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Last February, Italy (and EU) has signed an agreement with Libya to maintain the migration, to control their borders. The agreement previous to send economical help to Libya, to help the country to contain migration, but also to built some refugees camps. However, Arjan Hehenkamp, general director of MSF (Doctors Without Borders), told on Monday that the idea that migrants can be housed in a humane way on Libyan soil “is simply impossible”. He underlined the unsafe situation of Libyan State, and added that it’s impossible now, to “think that Libya can be considered part of the solution”. The EU has so far trained about 90 people to work in the Libyan Coast Guard and Italy has promised to give them 10 patrol boats. Thus the solution to fight against human traffic in Libya revealed itself all the problem of Libyan chaos.

The Brussels Conference: it will address the situation in Syria and the impact of the crisis in the region

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The Brussels Conference brings together ministerial representatives from over 70 delegations, including from the EU and the region but also the wider international community, the United Nations, major donors and civil society, humanitarian and development organisations. It will address the situation in Syria and the impact of the crisis in the region. The conference will assess where the international community stands collectively in fulfilling commitments made at the London Conference in February 2016 and agree on additional efforts needed to meet the needs of those affected by the crisis. Discussions will also focus on how the international community can support a lasting political resolution to the Syrian conflict through an inclusive and Syrian-led political transition process based on the Security Council resolutions.

Juncker at Donald Trump’s support for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hit back at Donald Trump’s support for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union, saying that he would champion American states that wanted to secede from the union. “The newly elected U.S. president was happy that Brexit was taking place and was asking other countries to do the same”, Juncker told delegates from his pan-EU Christian Democrat group in Malta. “If he goes on like that, I’m going to promote the independence of Ohio and the exit of Texas”.

EU introduces sanctions sgainst Syrian officials to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons

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The Council of the EU was adding high-ranking military officials over the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. “On 20 March 2017, the Council added 4 high-ranking military officials to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The EU added these 4 persons for their role in the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, in line with the EU’s policy to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons”, the statement said.

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