Tag Archives: Borrell

IRAN: Borrell expresses condolences

Brussels 29.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell expressed his condolences to the family of the assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist via the statement, attributed to the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“On 27 November 2020 in Absard, Iran, an Iranian government official and, according to reports, one of his bodyguards, were killed in a series of violent attacks. This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for.
The High Representative expresses his condolences to the family members of the individuals who were killed, while wishing a prompt recovery to any other individuals who may have been injured.
In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever for all parties to remain calm and exercise maximum restraint in order to avoid escalation which cannot be in anyone’s interest”, the EU statement said.

On November 27th Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabada was assassinated while driving in Absard, a city 80km east of Tehran, by what Iran’s defence ministry called “armed terrorists”. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, named by the West as leading scientist for the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s, and served as the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation of the defence ministry at the time of his death.

Turkey shifts away from EU values

Brussels 29.11.2020 Members of European Parliament condemn Turkey’s activities in Varosha, Cyprus, and call for sanctions, calling Turkey to refrain from any action that alters Cyprus’ demographic balance.

In a resolution adopted on November 26 by 631 votes in favour, 3 against and 59 abstentions, MEPs condemn Turkey’s illegal activities in the Varosha suburb of the city of Famagusta and warn that its partial “opening” weakens prospects of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, exacerbating divisions and entrenching the permanent partition of the island.

MEPs call on Turkey to transfer Varosha to its lawful inhabitants under the temporary administration of the UN (in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984)) and to refrain from any actions that alter the demographic balance on the island through a policy of illegal settlement.

A sustainable solution to reunify the island of Cyprus and its people can only be found through dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiations, MEPs stress. They call on the European Council to maintain its unified position on Turkey’s illegal actions and impose tough sanctions in response.

MEPS regret that the Turkish authorities have endorsed the two-state solution for Cyprus and reiterate their support for a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with a single international legal status. They also call on the EU to play a more active role in bringing the negotiations under UN auspices to a successful conclusion.

As Turkey distances itself more and more from European values and standards, EU-Turkey relations are at a historic low, warns Parliament. Its illegal and unilateral military actions in the Eastern Mediterranean infringe on the sovereignty of EU member states Greece and Cyprus. MEPs also point out Turkey’s direct support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as its actions in Libya and Syria.

The Turkish army fenced off Varosha immediately after the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The Greek Cypriots who fled from Varosha were not allowed to return and with public entry prohibited, Varosha has effectively become a ghost town.

Borrell “shocked” by France Consulate attack

Brussels, 29.10.2020 The head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell is “deeply shocked” by the barbaric attacks perpetrated in Nice, Avignon, and at the Consulate of France in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Djeddah.
“My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. We are alongside the French and France.
Together, in Europe and in the world, we will fight hatred and terror”

Today three people have been killed in a knife attack at a church Notre Dame in the heart of Nice, police say.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said there had been a “terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica”.
One elderly victim who had come to pray was “virtually beheaded”. A suspect was shot and detained shortly afterwards, and three victims identified: a 30-year-old woman, mother of young children; the sacristan of the basilica, about 45 years old, slain; 70-year-old woman, a regular church-goer, beheaded.

Mayor Estrosi spoke of “Islamo-fascism” and said the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’, while stabbing with knife the congregation. Reportedly there are also “many wounded”, however there are not further details available at the moment. President Macron has arrived to Nice without delay, and was greeted by the Mayor Estrosi.

The attack in Avignon has failed, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the building of Consulate of France a security agent was injured. According to the Saudi press agency, the perpetrator, a forty year old man, was immediately arrested, while the security agent of the French consulate was transferred to hospital for treatment required, he does not suffer life-threatening injuries.

However “maximum vigilance” is recommended to French nationals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

EP: Borrell on arms control

Brussels 20.10.2020 The head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell exchanged opinions with the Members of the European Parliament on Non-Proliferation Treaty. In his remarks Josep Borrell has reflected on the preparation of the 2020 NPT review process, arms control and nuclear disarmament options. (In light of the situation related to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, States Parties have decided to postpone the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to a later date, as soon as the circumstances permit, but no later than April 2021. Information on the new dates of the Review Conference will be posted in due course by the UN). control

“This upcoming Review Conference is the next most important event on global non-proliferation and disarmament – at least what still remains of it. Despite current uncertainty about when the conference will take place, it remains the most important event in the world of non-proliferation and disarmament.
“We are all concerned about the deteriorating security environment as well as the continued pressure on the nuclear non-proliferation architecture, illustrated by the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces in Europe Treaty. We regretted it a lot when it happened and we continue regretting it now.
It is essential that all States Parties comply with their ;Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations and fully implement all commitments under the Treaty.
Upholding and preserving the Non-Proliferation Treaty must remain a key priority for the European Union’s foreign policy. The European Union strongly supports all three pillars of the Treaty – non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy – and will continue to promote comprehensive, balanced and full implementation of the 2010 Review Conference Action Plan”.

Through intensive diplomatic engagement backed up by the [Common Foreign and Security Policy] (CFSP) funded Council Decisions we are promoting the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the preparations of negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. We are also proud to support regional conferences in preparation for the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
We are going to redouble our efforts to uphold international norms, to restore dialogue and trust, and to promote transparency and confidence-building measures.
Together with Member States, we are preparing a strong and forward-looking common European Union position for the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. And I would like to stress some of the key elements of our position in the context of your Report.
First, we will continue to strongly call for the extension by the United States and Russia of the New START Treaty before February 2021 and we will encourage negotiations for a broader future agreement.
Second, we welcome the various initiatives of nuclear disarmament, including the Stockholm Initiative.
Third, we acknowledge the increased attention given to risk reduction and we hope discussions on this topic could gain broad support.
The promotion of universal adherence and the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty – as I already mentioned – remains a top priority for the European Union.
This conference will be an occasion to address non-proliferation crises as well. We continue calling on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from further provocations and to take concrete steps towards abandoning all its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
We will also reaffirm our commitment and support for the Iran nuclear deal, the so-called JCPOA, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We deeply regret the 2018 withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and the subsequent re-imposition of United States sanctions on Iran. At the same time, we are gravely concerned by Iran’s activities that are inconsistent with the JCPOA and have severe proliferation implications.
Finally, let me underline that we also take due note of your proposal to encourage talks about the possibility of a multilateral ballistic missile treaty’.
The head of the EU diplomacy thanked the Members of the European Parliament who have contributed to the recommendations ahead of the 2020 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT).

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

Borrell travels to Ukraine

Brussels 21.09.2020 On Tuesday 22 September, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, will pay an official visit to Kyiv, Ukraine.

The EU top diplomat will meet with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, before a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, which will be followed by a press conference at c.14:15 CET, shown on EbS. During his visit, the High Representative/Vice-President will also hold meetings with the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Andrii Taran, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in¬-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, Heidi Grau, and the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Yaşar Halit Çevik. He will also meet with members of civil society and the Ukrainian parliament to discuss anti-corruption developments in Ukraine. In light of the EU’s unprecedented support package(link is external) to Ukraine to support its response to the coronavirus pandemic, including EU-funded personal protective equipment, High Representative Borrell will also pay a visit to the Kyiv Regional Laboratory.

Borrell meets Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

Brussels, 21.09.2020 Ahead of the Foreign ministers Council the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell met with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the Belarus opposition politician in exile: “We met with Sviatlana #Tsikhanouskaya ahead of #FAC. The EU has no hidden agenda. Belarusian people should be able to freely choose their president, without persecution and repression. Only an inclusive national dialogue can lead to a peaceful and sustainable solution #Belarus” the head of the EU diplomacy wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

The situation in Belrus after the sham elections is one of three major issues for discussion with EU Foreign Ministers. The other key topics for the EU diplomacy are “positive momentum” in Libya and relations with the African Union.

Borrell:”Navalny sanctions”

We continue calling on Russia to investigate this crime through a fully transparent procedure, under the auspices of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We can expect that the poisoning of Mr [Alexei] Navalny will have an impact on European Union-Russia relations. We are going to discuss that in the next Foreign Affairs Council” said the head of the EU diplomacy, addressing the European Parliament plenary debate.

Some of you talk about the possibility of this affecting Nord Stream 2. Once again, this is something that is outside of the possibilities of the European institutions. What I can tell you is that the European Commission has never shown a lot of enthusiasm about this pipeline, which from the Commission we have been considering as not a relevant priority infrastructure. But it is something that is up to the Member States that have been pushing for this infrastructure to be built. As I said, there is the scepticism of the Commission, which has never shown strong support for it“.

“Finally, about the possibility of sanctioning Russia with a kind of “Magnitsky-style” [human rights sanctions] regime: When I took office, I immediately launched [negotiations for] a global human rights sanctions regime, which has been discussed once again at the last Foreign Affairs Council. [There are] continued discussions in the Council. The legal acts are currently being drafted.

“I hope that what has happened to Mr Navalny will represent an encouragement for Member States to stop discussing and start acting and approving this human rights sanctions regime that, in the same way that the Americans call it the “Magnitsky Act”, we could call it the “Navalny sanctions regime”. This could be a good way of taking stock of what has happened and keep in the records for the future the name of Mr Navalny associated to a sanctions regime for people who violated human rights”.

EU for dialogue in East Mediterranean

On August 14 via a teleconference the EU Ministers of Foreign affaris discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, following a grave deterioration of the security situation in recent days.

Three words reflect the outcome of the discussion: solidarity, de-escalation, and dialogue.

Solidarity:

Ministers reaffirmed the EU’s full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. They reiterated that sovereign rights of EU Member States must be respected. They recalled EU common positions and the previous Council Conclusions of 22 March 2018 and June, July, October, December 2019, in addition to the Statement on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean of 15 May 2020.

At the same time, Ministers stressed that the serious deterioration in the relationship with Turkey is having far-reaching strategic consequences for the entire EU, well beyond the Eastern Mediterranean.

De-escalation:

Ministers stressed in particular that recent naval mobilisations by Turkey do not contribute to finding any solutions. On the contrary, they will lead to greater antagonism and distrust. They create a heightened risk of dangerous incidents. Immediate de-escalation by Turkey was considered crucial.

Dialogue:

Ministers recalled the importance they attach to relations with Turkey. They underlined that issues related to delimitation of maritime boundaries and exploitation of resources therein can only be addressed through dialogue and negotiation, in good faith, in accordance with international law and in pursuit of the principle of good neighbourly relations, and not through unilateral actions and the mobilisation of naval forces.

Ministers recalled the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council of 13 July. They reiterated strong support for the High Representative’s efforts to re-establish dialogue and facilitate re-engagement with Turkey. At the same time, the High Representative/Vice-President is to prepare options on further appropriate measures in case tensions do not abate.

A broader discussion about relations with Turkey will be held later in August, at the Gymnich.

France has been presented by Clement Beaune, the Secretary of State in charge for the European affairs.

EU: Belarus elections «falsified»

The EU Foreign Ministers addressed the Belarusian Presidential elections that took place on 9 August.

“Ministers reiterated their repeated call to the Belarusian authorities to stop the disproportionate and unacceptable violence against peaceful protesters. The EU expects the authorities to release immediately all unlawfully detained persons. In light of shocking reports of inhumane treatment and detention conditions, the European Union expects a thorough and transparent investigation into all alleged abuses, in order to hold those responsible to account.

“During their discussions, the Ministers sent a strong signal of the EU’s support to the Belarusian population in their desire for democratic change. The Ministers noted the exceptional work of the domestic election observers, whose reporting, in the absence of international election observers, has been crucial in helping to reveal the true picture regarding last Sunday’s elections. They discussed how to support this vital work.

“The Ministers reiterated that the elections were neither free nor fair. The European Union considers the results to have been falsified and therefore does not accept the results of the election as presented by the Belarus Central Election Commission. The European Union will therefore put forward to the Belarusian authorities a proposal for EU support in in establishing and facilitating a dialogue between the political authorities, opposition and broader society in view of resolving the current crisis. The High Representative/Vice-President and his services will begin work on this proposal immediately.

“Ministers also agreed on the need to sanction those responsible for violence, repression and the falsification of election results. The work on additional listings within the existing sanctions framework for Belarus will start immediately.

“The Ministers expressed appreciation for the work of journalists in the difficult conditions that they are facing and condemned attacks on and detentions of journalists, including EU citizens.

“The Ministers agreed to revert to reviewing EU-Belarus relations at their upcoming informal meeting end of August. As part of this review, the European Union will look at how to increase its support to the Belarusian people, including through enhanced engagement with and financial support to civil society, additional support to independent media, and increasing opportunities for student and academic mobility”.

Image: archive

Borrell condemns violence in Belarus

The Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus on 9 August. The European Union had repeatedly expressed its expectations on the proper conduct of these elections.

“The election night was marred with disproportionate and unacceptable state violence against peaceful protesters. This reportedly resulted in the loss of life of one citizen and many others have been injured. We condemn the violence and call for the immediate release of all detained during last night. The Belarusian authorities must ensure that the fundamental right of peaceful assembly is respected” reads the Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi on the Presidential elections in Belarus.

“Following their unprecedented mobilisation for free elections and democracy, the Belarusian people now expect their votes to be counted accurately. It is essential that the Central Electoral Commission publishes the results reflecting the choice of the Belarusian people.

“Only upholding human rights, democracy, and free and fair elections will guarantee stability and sovereignty in Belarus. We will continue to closely follow the developments in order to assess how to further shape the EU’s response and relations with Belarus in view of the developing situation”.

Protesters and riot police have clashed in Minsk and other cities, after a state TV exit poll said long-time leader Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner in Sunday’s election.

Police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon. A human rights group said one protester was killed and the are hundreds of arrested, however due to the internet disruptions there are significant difficultes to obtain full information about the police actions.

According to the state media Mr Lukashenko won 80% of the vote, based on the preliminary count.
But the main opposition leader has Svetlana Tikhanovskaya refused to recognise the results.
“We have already won, because we have overcome our fear, our apathy and our indifference,” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said.

The preliminary results give her 9.9% of the vote, but her campaign said she had been polling 70-80% in some areas.
Ms Tikhanovskaya entered the election in place of her jailed husband and went on to lead large opposition rallies.

Mr Lukashenko, 65, has been in power since 1994.

Image above: BelsatTV

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