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EU Foreign Affairs ministers discussed yesterday the follow-up to the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy. EU global strategy presents five priority areas to be implemented for 2016 – 2017, including:

– Resilience building and integrated approach to conflicts and crises;

– Security and defence;

– Strengthening the nexus between internal and external policies;

– Updating existing or preparing new regional and thematic strategies;

– Stepping up public diplomacy efforts.

Ministers also evaluated the latest developments in matters of external migration and EU’s comprehensive migration policy. The High Representative briefed Foreign Affairs ministers on the work accomplished with priority countries such as Mali, Niger, Jorda, Lebanon, Afghanistan, among others.

Another point discussed was how to enhance the EU’s support to Tunisia’s efforts to address its challenges and to promote long-term stability. The Council reaffirmed its commitment and support to the Tunisian society, which should be reflected in a high-level political dialogue between the EU and Tunisia on all matters of mutual interest.

Finally, the highlight of the day was the Syrian situation assessment, based mainly on recent developments on the ground and the escalation of violence in Aleppo. The Council reiterated the extreme attacks by the regime and its allies.

Given this indiscriminate situation, EU made an urgent call for “an immediate cessation of hostilities to be monitored by a strong and transparent mechanism; (…) and full unhindered sustainable country-wide humanitarian access granted by all parties”, as the outcome of the Council meeting states.

According to Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: “there can be no military solution to the conflict. A political solution must be sought. The EU has decided to launch a dialogue with key regional actors to prepare the ground for a political transition, reconciliation and reconstruction.”

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