China must stop arbitrary detentions of religious and ethnics minorities, said Members of European Parliament in a resolution adopted during April Strasbourg Plenary.
Parliament is concerned about the increasingly repressive regime that many religious and ethnic minorities, such as Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Tibetans and Christians, are facing in China. The situation is rapidly deteriorating, placing additional restraints on their fundamental rights. It calls on the Chinese Government to put an end to arbitrary detentions, without any charge, trial or conviction for criminal offence, of members of the Uyghur and Kazakh minority and Tibetans.
“Continuing to negotiate with China over investment and trade issues while ignoring reports of human rights abuses, means the international community is failing to respect its own set of values”, Thomas Mann MEP said. (pictured above).
According to the United Nations estimates, China has put in place an extrajudicial detention programme, currently detaining “from tens of thousands to upwards of a million Uyghurs’” who are forced to undergo political “re-education”. MEPs are also concerned about the information that the Xinjiang camp system has expanded into other parts of China and, in this regard, urge China to close all detention centres and to release the detained persons immediately and unconditionally. The full resolution will be available here (18.04.2019).
The resolution on China was adopted by 505 votes in favour, 18 against, with 47 abstentions.
“We then discussed our support to the Afghanistan peace process. You might have seen the conclusions that have been adopted that highlight the concrete actions that the European Union is willing and ready to take in support of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, hopefully to be started already next week – as it was announced that intra-Afghan negotiations might start already next week” the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while concluding the work of the meeting of Foreign ministers Council in Luxembourg.
“We have been supporting enormously the work of the Afghan legitimate authorities in their preparation for that. I am glad to see that yesterday, President of Afghanistan, Ashraf] Ghani announced the formation of the negotiating team and a senior council to lead them. I really hope that, also following our talks in Kabul a couple of weeks ago, this can open the way for negotiations that can lead to peace in Afghanistan without pre-judging neither the electoral process nor the achievements that the Afghan population has managed to reach, in particular on the rights of women, minorities and human rights in general terms.”
The Council recommends that direct negotiations between Afghans, with the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban at their core begin as soon as possible.
It confirms the EU’s readiness to support the peace process and its implementation, wit the aim of preserving and building on the political, economic and social achievements of the people of Afghanistan since 2001, which should be irreversible. The EU stands ready to support the following aspects of the process:
- to help make the peace process inclusive;
- to assist with reforms, including security sector reform;
- to act as a guarantor of a peace process, if requested by the parties;
- to assist with reintegration of fighters and their families and
- to promote regional trade and connectivity.
“The EU reaffirmed the importance of the relations between the EU and Turkey, a candidate country and a key partner and stressed the importance of open and frank dialogue, within the established framework, in order to address common challenges in areas of joint interest such as migration, counter-terrorism, energy, transport, the economy and trade.
“The EU underlined that the Turkish government’s stated commitment to EU accession needs to be matched by corresponding reforms and recalled that the Council conclusions of 26 June 2018 state that Turkey has been moving further away from the European Union and that accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill. The EU reiterated its concerns over the continuing and deeply worrying backsliding in the areas of fundamental rights and rule of law, and the deterioration of the independence and functioning of the judiciary. In this regard, the EU expressed its expectation from Turkey to ensure that its plans for judicial reform are realised in line with EU and Council of Europe standards.”
“The EU welcomed the UN efforts to resume negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, and recalled that it remains crucial that Turkey commits and contributes to the process and to a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement within the UN framework, in accordance with UNSC resolutions and in line with EU principles and the EU acquis.”
The EU-Turkey Association Council held its 54th meeting on Friday, 15 March 2019, in Brussels. The meeting was the first one held after the lifting of the State of Emergency in Turkey last year, and provided a useful opportunity to take stock of EU-Turkey relations and exchange views on a range of issues.
On the EU side, the meeting was chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Federica MOGHERINI. Mr Johannes HAHN, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations also participated. Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief Negotiator of Turkey, led the Turkish delegation.
Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region“, known as Brussels III opened these week to accumulate financial aid pledges for 2019.
Following two previous events, the conference, organized by the European Union and the United Nations, brings together participants from more than 85 countries and organizations at ministerial level.
“Following the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, tensions along the ‘Line of Control‘ between India and Pakistan have escalated militarily during the last days. This has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for the two countries and the wider region”- the statement of the EU top diplomatFederica Mogherini says.
“We expect both countries to now exercise utmost restraint and avoid any further escalation of the situation. To this end, the resumption of diplomatic contacts at political level and implementation of urgent measures by both sides is vital.
“Terrorism can never be justified. I spoke a few days ago by telephone with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to emphasise the need to continue to address terrorism, including clear and targeted actions related to all forms of terrorist activity.
“The European Union will remain in contact with both countries and will continue to closely monitor the situation”.
‘’None of the security challenges our world faces today can be effectively addressed with a purely military approach’’ said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said at the 55th Munich Security Conference.
The European Union has made unprecedented progress in working together to develop its hard power over the past years. At the same time, it continues to champion soft power instruments, the EU’s ‘‘trade mark”. This has made the European Union ‘‘a real security provider”.
The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini confirmed the determination of the Foreign ministers to continue efforts for Venezuela crisis resolution through the international contact group. Apparently, the denial of entry to four Members of the European Parliament (MEP) will not deviate from the endorsed policy vis-à-vis Caracas.
Four Members of the European parliament (MEPs) from European People’s Party (EPP) were denied entry to Venezuela under “conspiratorial motives.” The calls of the leader of the EPP group Manfred Weber to “immediately” recognise Juan Guaido as the President of Venezuela, did not receive any response from the EU foreign ministers.
Esteban Gonsalez-Pons (Spain), José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (Spain), Gabriel Mato (Spain), and Esther de Lange (NL) travelled to Caracas upon their own initiative in their individual capacity as MEPs.
The MEPs attempted to enter Caracas to meet with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, after the European Parliament last month recognized him as “interim head of state”.
Last month given the urgency of the situation in Venezuela the EU ministers decided to establish an international contact group on Venezuela (26.01.2019) that was agreed among EU Member States and with some Latin American countries.
The Foreign Minister of Spain Josep Borrell confirmed the intention to step up effort to resolve Venezuela crisis via contact group, as the EU major diplomatic tool. He also underlined that Juan Guaido is recognised an ‘interim President’ of the country.