Tag Archives: Gaza

Iranian nuclear deal in focus of EU foreign ministers

The Foreign Affairs Council (28/05/2018) will start with a discussion on current affairs, allowing ministers to review pressing issues on the international agenda.

The High Representative Federica Mogherini and ministers may refer to the Sofia Summit (17 May), recent developments related to North Korea and the situation in Yemen.

Iran

Foreign ministers will continue to discuss Iran and the nuclear deal (#JCPOA) in light of the latest developments, in particular after the US decision to withdraw from the agreement.

This follows the discussion by EU leaders at their meeting in Sofia on 16 May. At this meeting, they agreed unanimously that the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it.

Venezuela

Foreign ministers will exchange views on the political situation in Venezuela, after the presidential election of 20 May. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Venezuela.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Council will discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following up on the Council conclusions of 11 December 2017 and in view of the foreseen elections at the end of the year.

Gaza

Over lunch, foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Gaza following recent developments, including in relation to the move of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

African, Caribbean and Pacific countries

The Council is expected to discuss the negotiating mandate for the future agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in February 2020.

Foreign ministers had an initial discussion during January’s Foreign Affairs Council. Development ministers had a discussion on 22 May 2018.

EU calls Hamas for non-violent expression

“Dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been killed and hundreds injured from Israeli fire today, during ongoing mass protests near the Gaza fence. We expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life. Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and the principle of proportionality in the use of force. Hamas and those leading the demonstrations in Gaza must ensure that they remain strictly non-violent and must not exploit them for other means” – the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said in a statement, addressing the eruption of violence in Gaza, related to the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

“During these days, both Israelis and Palestinians are commemorating defining moments for their nations. Each side in this conflict has legitimate claims and aspirations which need to be mutually acknowledged”

“Jerusalem is a holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians. The ties of the Jewish people to Jerusalem are irrefutable, and must not be denied. And the same is true for the ties of the Palestinian people to the city”

“Any further escalation of an already extremely tense and complex situation would cause again further unspeakable sufferings to both peoples, and will make the perspective of peace and security even more remote. In this moment, wisdom and courage would be needed to go back to negotiations for a political solution, for the sake both of the Israeli and the Palestinian people, and the entire region. Only a two state solution will realistically allow both sides to fulfil their aspirations, put an end to the conflict, and achieve the just and lasting peace that Israelis and Palestinians long for and deserve”

“The EU remains firmly committed to continue working with both parties and with its partners in the international community towards a resumption of meaningful negotiations aimed at a two-state solution, based on the 4 june 1967 lines and with Jerusalem as capital of both”

“The European Union has a clear, consolidated position on Jerusalem, which was reaffirmed in numerous Foreign Affairs Council conclusions. The EU will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem embodied in, inter alia, UN Security Council Resolution 478, including on the location of diplomatic representations until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved” – the statement concludes.

 

Pontifex calls for peace ending conflicts and “carnage”

Pope Francis, in his traditional Easter address called for peace in the Holy Land two days after 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border, saying the conflict there “does not spare the defenseless”.

Pontifex made his appeal in his “Urbi et Orbi” – to the city and the world – message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to believers in the flower-bedecked square below where he earlier celebrated a Mass.

Further in his speech he also appealed for an end to the “carnage” in Syria, calling for humanitarian aid to be allowed to enter, and for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Pope Francis led an Easter vigil service, baptizing eight adults, including a undocumented Nigerian migrant beggar who came into public eye when he disarmed an Italian thief wielding a cleaver.

The baptism took place during a long Holy Saturday, or Easter eve, Mass for some 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

Abbas welcomes Hamas reconciliation move

Hamas has agreed to dissolve the administration running Gaza, it said, a major step towards handing control of the enclave to a Palestinian unity government after a decade of bitter rivalry with President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Islamist group, which has ruled Gaza since a brief Palestinian civil war in 2007, said it had taken “a courageous, serious and patriotic decision to dissolve the administrative committee” that runs the territory of 2 million people, and hand power to some form of unity government.

Abbas welcomed Hamas’ move – a result of talks mediated by Egypt – and said he would convene the Palestinian leadership for discussions upon his return from New York where he was attending the U.N. General Assembly.

The development would “enable the formation of a national reconciliation government to work in the Gaza Strip and hold … elections,” he said in a statement on official news agency WAFA.