News

  • MallforAfrica Announces Expansion into Kenya with New Website, MallforKenya.com – Ecommerce platform allows Kenyan shoppers to purchase products from the United States and United Kingdom NAIROBI, Kenya, July 24, 2015 / PRNewswire — MallforAfrica (MFA), Africa’s largest online mall, announced today its expansion into Kenya with its new website, MallforKenya (MFK). The global e-commerce company will enable Kenya’s 47 million residents immediate access to […]..
  • Johnny Rockets ouvre un nouveau restaurant en Tunisie ALISO VIEJO, Californie, 23 juillet 2015 / PRNewswire — Johnny Rockets a ouvert ses portes et accueille les habitants de Tunis dans son nouveau restaurant, situé au cœur du célèbre quartier commerçant El Menzah 5. Johnny Rockets est connu pour ses célèbres hamburgers grillés sur commande, ses sandwiches maison, ses salades fraîches, et ses Shakes agités […]..
  • XCMG entre dans le top 10 de KHL des plus grands fabricants d’engins de chantier XUZHOU, Chine, 23 juillet 2015 / PRNewswire — XCMG, le plus grand fabricant chinois d’engins de chantier, est entré dans le top 10 du dernier Yellow Table, un classement des 50 plus grands fabricants d’engins de chantier du monde établi par le groupe KHL, le plus grand fournisseur au monde d’informations internationales sur la construction. Le […]..
  • UN rights experts on the use of mercenaries weigh ‘increasing activity’ of foreign fighters 23 July 2015 – The United Nations expert group on the use of mercenaries today convened a discussion at UN Headquarters in New York to address the issue of the increasing activity of foreign fighters – particularly towards understanding their motivations – and its impact on human rights. - “The panel [discussion] allowed us to build on the knowledge we have been gaining about this growing and critical concern over the last months, benefitting from the work of other experts, said Elzbieta Karska, who currently heads the Geneva-based expert body, formally known as the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination. - “We also hope to take away concrete recommendations for countering the negative impact of foreign fighters on human rights,” he added during a press conference she gave with Mr. Gabor Rona, also a member of the Group. - “We are particularly interested in understanding the motivations of foreign fighters and how these may link to mercenaries, related recruitment practices, as well as the human rights implications of foreign fighters and associated laws and policies,” Ms. Karska. - The study by the five-strong expert body has involved so far a mission to Tunisia from 1 to 8 July 2015, two expert meetings, and information gathered through a questionnaire sent to all UN Member States, relevant UN peacekeeping operations and field offices of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). - In Tunisia, the experts met with the Ministries of foreign affairs, national defence, interior, justice, women and children, and parliamentary commission, as well as with prosecutors and detainees, and representatives of civil society, associations, and municipal bodies. - Indeed, the number of Tunisian militants flocking to join the hostilities in Syria and Iraq is one of the highest among those traveling to fight alongside extremists in the Middle East’s two most dogged conflicts, the Working Group warned on July 10. - In response to a reporter’s question, Mr. Gabor Rona said that if voluntary mechanisms like the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers – a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to clarify international standards for the private security industry and improve security companies’ oversight and accountability – were “good, but insufficient.” - “What we need is a legally binding international instrument,” he stressed. - The Working Group was established in July 2005 to monitor mercenaries and mercenary-related activities, as well as study and identify sources and causes, emerging issues, manifestations and trends regarding such activities and their impact on human rights, particularly on the right of peoples to self-determination...
  • Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following her meeting... Check against delivery - Prime Minister, Minister, it is a pleasure for me to welcome you back to Brussels two months after your last visit, at this particularly important, tragic time in the history of Tunisia, following the attack in Sousse. We had a meeting with the ministers today, for more than two hours, and this is important, because we are agreed on the need to see a strong, stable Tunisia, pursuing its path to democracy. There is a strong political will in the European Union to support Tunisia in its democratic transition, at this difficult time for its economy, especially for its tourism industry, and at a difficult time in terms of security challenges and the fight against terrorism, in which we are all united. - The partnership between Tunisia and the European Union is particularly important to us Europeans, as we have demonstrated over the years. Our economic and financial assistance has doubled since 2011. We intend to provide even greater support for your reform efforts, in order to develop a partnership which is a genuine partnership, and which is really privileged. It is in our interests too to make sure that Tunisia remains an example to the region. Not just for Tunisia, not just for the Tunisian people, but also to keep hope alive in one of the most uncertain regions in the world. - After the attack in Sousse, following on from the attack on the Bardo, our discussions today focussed on urgent security challenges. But this was not our only topic of discussion with the ministers. The EU and its Member States have been engaged in supporting security sector reform in Tunisia for several years. We have a programme of EUR 23 million earmarked for 2016. This has been fast-tracked so that work can start in the next few months. - This bilateral programme includes an important border security component, which is also a key element of many other programmes. - Today we have discussed ways of going further, and mobilising expertise from all Member States to help Tunisia. - There are various matters on which we can work together in the area of security and the fight against terrorism - particularly the security services, but also the legal approach, and border security - we have talked a great deal about this and about joint projects in the area - preventing radicalisation, the problem of foreign fighters, communication, terrorist financing. These are projects which must be put into effect quickly, as was specifically discussed with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministers of the 28 today. - In addition to security, we had a long discussion on EU support for the Tunisian transition, which we are stepping up, support for your government's reforms, to continue democratic consolidation, in particular with the implementation of the 2014 Constitution, and in the economic sphere, to boost growth and employment, in particular youth employment, and to reduce Tunisia's regional development disparities. - In this respect, the start of negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Tunisia, which you have proposed to start in October, will send a very positive signal to investors, starting with European investors, of course. - We have recently speeded up preparation of all our cooperation programmes for this year, which include substantial support for the economic development of the Tunisian regions, for the process of decentralisation laid down in the Constitution, and also for the cultural sector. We are also working on the best way to support the Tunisian tourist industry in the hard times it is currently going through. - With the Foreign Ministers and my Commissioner colleagues we are looking closely at ways of supporting sectors dear to Tunisian hearts, which I know provide significant support for the Tunisian economy: not only mobility, education, university exchanges - we discussed the Erasmus programme - young people, innovation, research and a sector which is particularly important for the Tunisian economy, agriculture, particularly olive oil. - I know that this sector is important for you personally, Prime Minister, and also for the Tunisian economy and Tunisian culture — as an Italian I can understand that — and that it generates a lot of employment. Today it was decided to make an extra effort, and I have shared with the Prime Minister, and with my colleagues, proposals for the EU to make a temporary exceptional — but nevertheless significant — increase in the annual export quota for olive oil from Tunisia. - I am also happy to be able to tell you today — thanks to the involvement of Commissioner Moedas — that with a view to Tunisia joining the Horizon 2020 research programme, it will be offered access on specially favourable terms, because we are well aware of the need to invest in contacts between young people, especially young people who want to invest in relations between the two sides of the Mediterranean. - These are very specific questions, but we also discussed other issues on which we are working together, in particular developments in Libya. This is a priority for us Europeans, and we may talk about it more afterwards during my press conference at the end of the Council meeting. We have had a session with Bernardino León and the ministers of the 28. But we also talked a lot about this with a country like Tunisia, which is a key partner for our stabilisation efforts, for stabilisation efforts in Libya; we are well aware that we share a neighbour, a complicated and difficult neighbour for now, but very important for the stability and security of all of us. - I would like to thank you for your leadership, for the strength you have shown; you have heard from all the ministers today that Europe's support for Tunisia, and for the Tunisian people, is sincere, strong and steadfast, and that you can count on us in these difficult times. Thank you. - Link to video: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I107471..
  • Johnny Rockets Opens New Restaurant In Tunisia ALISO VIEJO, California, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Johnny Rockets has opened its doors and welcomed the community to its new restaurant in Tunis, Tunisia, located in the popular El Menzah 5 shopping district. Johnny Rockets is known for its world famous fresh, cooked-to-order hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and hand spun shakes. Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120112/LA35131LOGO “We […]..
  • La BEI approuve de nouveaux prêts d'un montant total de 10 milliards d'EUR et lance le FEIS... No download formats are defined. - Official Signature of EFSI - From left to right: Mr Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Mr Jyrki Katainen, EC Vice-President - Brussels - 22/07/2015 - © European Union - Rights Free - New investment for strategic infrastructure across Europe and around the world, including road, rail, ports, inland waterways, and airports, were amongst nearly EUR 10 billion of new lending approved this week by the Board of Europe’s long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank. Financing was agreed, subject to final negotiation, for a total of 45 projects, including 5 schemes expected to get support from the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). - Reflecting the EIB’s broader support for innovation and competitiveness the board also agreed to back new investment in corporate research in the energy, automobile, and textile sectors, as well as medical research to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Lending to improve SME access to finance included new engagements approved in Austria, France, Italy and Poland, as well as Tunisia, South Africa and Zambia. - Investment in environmental, renewable energy and climate related projects in Austria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as Armenia, Kazakhstan and across Africa, were amongst schemes approved by the EIB board that represents the bank’s 28 EU member state shareholders, as well as the European Commission. - Amongst the schemes approved were 5 expected to be supported under the new European Fund for Strategic Investments include the large scale roll out of smart meters to better manage energy use in the UK, lending to facilitate access to finance for small renewable energy projects in Germany and France, as well as upgrading inland waterways in the Netherlands. The board also approved support for two renewable energy funds, to finance smaller projects in France and across Europe that have been earmarked for support under EFSI. - Outside Europe the EIB board also agreed to support investment in renewable energy infrastructure in Nepal, emergency reconstruction of municipal infrastructure in Tbilisi following recent floods, and rehabilitation of the 41km access road to East Africa’s principal sea port in Mombasa. - EFSI Agreement Signed - Earlier today, EIB President Werner Hoyer, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice President Jyrki Katainen signed a series of technical agreements between the EIB and European Commission which complete the formal establishment of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the European Investment Advisory Hub. EFSI is a joint initiative of the Commission and the EIB and an integral part of the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe. Set up within the EIB, EFSI will manage a guarantee from the EU budget of EUR 16 billion and an EIB contribution of EUR 5 billion to leverage private and public investment of EUR 315 billion over the next 3 years. - “In putting money to work across Europe, speed is of the essence. The Commission, the Council, the European Parliament, and the EU Bank have worked fast and well, and EFSI now sees the light less than nine months after President Juncker and I outlined the plan at the European Parliament on 27 November last year. The EIB has already started identifying and financing projects which will get EFSI backing. We believe that Europe must act fast, and we are now delivering on that belief”, said EIB President Werner Hoyer. “Now we must ensure the success of the Investment Plan for Europe by making EFSI work as the other parts of the plan are put in place, including regulatory reform which is crucial to make the EU more welcoming for investors and entrepreneurs.” - The European Investment Bank has also nominated Vice President Ambroise Fayolle to the EFSI Steering Board that will provide strategic guidance concerning the EFSI initiative...
  • Risen Energy augmente son succès en Inde avec un projet d’investissement de 100 Mégawatts de courant alternatif NINGBO, Chine, 21 juillet 2015 / PRNewswire — Risen Energy, société publique à responsabilité limitée organisée en vertu des lois de la République populaire de Chine et important fabricant intégré de produits photovoltaïques, a annoncé aujourd’hui une collaboration entre l’entreprise indienne Raasi Green Earth Energy et elle-même, qui englobe un mémorandum d’entente (MoU) visant à […]..
  • Risen Energy Expands Success in India with 100MWac Project Investment NINGBO, China, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Risen Energy, a public limited liability company, organised under the laws of the PRC and a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products, today announced the co-operation between Indian Raasi Green Earth Energy and themselves, encompassing a milestone MoU to jointly invest and develop a 100MWac Solar Plant […]..
  • OSCE Chairperson Dačić and Secretary General Zannier condemn terrorist attack in Turkey BELGRADE, 20 July 2015 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today condemned the terrorist attack in the Turkish border town of Suruc, offering condolences to the families of those killed and wishing a rapid recovery to the many injured. - “Today’s attack is an attack on us all,” said Dačić. “This brutal incident, following those in Egypt, Tunisia and France, is yet another attempt to instil widespread fear in our societies. Instead of reacting as the terrorists want, we must commit ourselves to standing together in countering terrorism and violent extremism.” - Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said, “This attack is yet another sad piece of evidence that violent extremism recognizes no ethnic, religious or state borders. The highest priority for all should be to intensify joint efforts to stand up to forces that are attempting to use violence and fear to exploit what still divides us. OSCE is sparing no efforts to rise to the challenge.” - Chairperson Dačić and Secretary General Zannier offered their support to the people and government of Turkey. - Turkey is one of the OSCE’s 57 participating States...
  • Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following the Foreign... Check against delivery - Good afternoon, I know you are all waiting for other news this afternoon from a different format of the Council that is meeting in this very same moment. I am also waiting from news from that format of the Council. - Today with the Foreign Ministers we started by celebrating good results of European and multilateral diplomacy, which shows us also the way for the many crises we still have to face and that still need to be solved. - We started by sharing with the Ministers our results on Iran. We endorsed the agreement that we reached in Vienna last week, in parallel with the unanimous UN Security Council Resolution endorsing the agreement itself. - It is an agreement that is strong and useful not only in comparison with an absence of agreement, but also in itself. It is an agreement that will make sure that Iran will not be able to have nuclear weapons - an agreement good for the security of the neighbourhoods and of the region. It is an agreement that is finally highlighting the potential of multilateralism and diplomacy, which is in itself a value for the European Union way of working on foreign policy. It is an agreement that has the potential to open new chapter in Iran, in international relations and relations with the rest of the region. - Finally, it is a good news coming from European Union activity, and a very strong one. I will keep as the High Representative a key role in the implementation phase as I will be coordinating the joint commission on the follow-up of the agreement. We are all already working to support the first step of this agreement and I intend to visit Teheran very soon. - Then with the Ministers we had a long and fruitful discussion on the situation in Libya, starting by sharing all our solidarity to the Italian authorities and to the Italian people after the kidnapping of four Italian citizens in Libya and this shows us that urgency of dealing with Libya and the crisis in Libya is not going away, on the contrary - it is even increasing. - In Libya there was a partial agreement facilitated by Bernardino León who was with us today debriefing the ministers and sharing with us the way ahead. It is a partial agreement that in itself is a good step that a few months ago would have been probably impossible to imagine or to really believe. It would have been impossible. But it is a partial agreement that could possibly lead to a full agreement and I - on behalf of all the ministers that were meeting today- invite all in Tripoli to join in the process and to contribute to something that is very much needed, not just by the international community, but by the Libyan people themselves. - We as the European Union, are ready to give all the economic and security support to a government of national accord in the moment when this will start. When I talk about the economic support, I talk about something very concrete: we discussed with the ministers a package of 100 million euros that is ready for supporting Libya in the moment when the Libyan authorities will define ways and needs on which they would require our assistance. But before we get there, we need to have a government of National Unity in place and I hope this can be the case in the coming weeks. - We also discussed a difficult issue that was on the table and is on the table, which is the issue of sanctions against the spoilers of the process. We as European Union are prepared to adopt sanctions, we have started considering names. Obviously we would prefer this decision or this discussion to take place in the UN system as we believe that it is the international community as a whole that has to put pressure and to open the way for those that have not joined in so far to do so and to make sure that also the citizens of Tripoli have a fair share of stability and peaceful developments in their country. - A further point on our agenda today was the Middle East Peace Process, where the success of diplomacy on other fields, on other files, tells us that there is no crisis that cannot be solved by diplomacy and through dialogue. This is something important to keep in mind in the moment where, in the Middle East, there seems to be no Peace Process at all. - We need to keep the ambition high, we need to keep the vision, as Europeans, and as international community and we have to keep the patience to negotiate and to build the conditions for negotiations to restart. - We decided together with the Foreign Ministers, and together also with our Special Representative Fernando Gentilini, to focus our European Union activities in the next weeks on two tracks. - On one side, supporting, improving the situation on the ground, especially in Gaza, and preventing the situation to get worse, which could be extremely dangerous for everybody, not only in Palestine, in Israel, but also in the region - which is also improving the daily conditions on the ground, a way of rebuilding trust or building trust among the parties, which is a precondition that seems to be far from being achieved at the moment. This might also involve some work on starting implementing some of the agreements that were already signed in the past. - The second track we decided to focus on is creating the conditions for a new political horizon, meaning a new international and regional framework that would lead to the conditions to restart negotiations. - As we focused on crises, we also focused on partners and how to strengthen them. You know already about our long meeting with the Tunisian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. We had a joint press conference following our meeting. - And I am going to Morocco tonight, where I will pay my first official visit tomorrow, because we know very well that while we tackle the crises, the open crises, we also need to focus very much on strengthening our partners in the region, preventing crises to happen, strengthening actors that can help us managing with the crises that are open and obviously both Tunisia and Morocco have a key role to play when it comes to the Libyan crisis; Morocco in particular, having hosted the talks all these months. - We adopted also, another point of the agenda, the Human Rights Action Plan, together with our EU Special Representative Lambrinidis. - And, last but not least, this is really not something we did in the Foreign Affairs Council, but I just did it now - I had a meeting with the Foreign Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, following the agreement they reached in Skopje last week. - Last week was a rather lucky one when it comes to Foreign Policy - at least partial steps were done in most cases, apart from the Iranian one that was really a complete success and deal. - I will stop here and am ready to answer your questions. - Link to the Video: - http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I107273..
  • Press Releases: Middle Eastern and North African Teens Arrive in the United States for TechGirls Exchange Tech-savvy teens from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia will participate in the fourth annual TechGirls exchange program from July 21-August 12. While in the United States, they will develop the knowledge, resources, peer networks, and mentor relationships necessary to pursue higher education and careers in technology. Increasing opportunities for women and girls in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is an important step towards realizing greater equality for women across the world and widening the pipeline for the next generation of STEM workers. - The 27 participating girls will spend three weeks side-by-side with American teens and leaders in the tech industry both in Washington, D.C. and at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. They will start their program at iD TechCamp, an interactive technology and computer camp at American University. They also will work on community service projects and attend mentoring sessions with top leaders in the tech industry from the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. - The State Department and program partner Legacy International have teamed up with a diverse array of public and private sector companies for this year’s TechGirls program, including: Girls Who Code, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T, Goodwill Industries, National Building Museum, 18F, Yahoo!, Facebook, Tech Change, Relief International, Echo & Co, Synopsis, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), among others. - The nearly 80 TechGirls program alumnae have shared their tech skills with more than 2,000 girls in their home countries, hosted conferences, and gone on to study at leading universities around the world. The success of TechGirls alumnae and the promise of the incoming class build on the U.S. global commitment to advance the rights of women and girls around the world, as well as STEM education. - Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #TechGirls. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at ECA-Press@state.gov...
  • Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini upon arrival at the Foreign... Check against delivery - Good morning, - It has been a quite positive week when it comes to Foreign Policy. We have achieved an historic agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme that opens also the way for a different framework in the region and hopefully also for international relations. - We have had a first new start in Libya that we hope can consolidate and bring positive results for the Libyan people in the future. We will discuss obviously these two issues, the agreement with Iran and the beginning of its implementation. Today we expect the UN Security Council to endorse the agreement and we will do the same here, in the Council today with the Ministers. - Regarding Libya, we will have a debriefing from [UN Secretary General Special Representative] Bernardino León today and discuss furthermore the European Union support to a national unity government, in the hope that this could come soon and that in particular the side of Tripoli could join the agreement soon. - This week tells us that diplomacy in the long run can deliver. This is the approach that we will discuss with the Ministers when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process. A difficult process, it seems an endless process, but we have learnt this week that diplomacy and perseverance can pay. And we will adopt the same kind of approach when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process: working on improvement on the ground – especially in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem – and creating the conditions for a restart of the talks. - These are ones of the main issues we will discuss today. Because today we will have also special guests – Prime Minister of Tunisia and Foreign Minister of Tunisia – joining us for sharing common work on the support to the country when it comes to security, to counter-terrorism, when it comes to economy. It is key that the European Union as such is able – and we will discuss proposals in this sense – to support the Tunisian economy especially in these times when one of its main sectors – tourism – is severely affected. - This is the agenda for today, it is a very full agenda, a very important agenda, a very political one and I will meet you afterwards to reply to your questions. - Q & A - How could Iran contribute to the stability in the region? - The Iranian deal is first of all a non-proliferation agreement and we have to keep that in mind. The starting point is the security of the region, the security of the neighbours - all of the neighbours. Making sure that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon is first of all a security issue for the region and for the entire world. It is also, as I said, the demonstration that multilateralism and diplomacy work and we desperately need this kind of signs in such times of crises. But it is also a possibility for rebuilding trust between Iran and its neighbours, between Iran and the international community. It is not an agreement based on trust, as President Obama mentioned, but it is an agreement that can lead to trust. And this is a work that needs to be done, and in the European Union, we will start discussing today. The European Union is ready to play its role, to help, to facilitate this rebuilding of trust in the region and hopefully also with positive consequences in the major issues that are open in the region, starting from Syria and Yemen. - On Georgia? - It is not on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council. - On Tunisia? - It is a top priority for us. Our counter-terrorism coordinator was in Tunisia discussing these issues just a couple of days ago. I have myself written to the Prime Minister of Tunisia, a letter still in May, with some concrete proposals. Obviously for us, what is key is not only what we can offer, but what the Tunisian authorities and the Tunisian people would like, and are ready to do together with us. That is exactly the purpose of the meeting we will have with the Prime Minister today to discuss together, in full partnership, with full ownership from the Tunisian people, what kind of measures it is useful for Tunisians that we do together. From our side, that is it. We put on the table all we can do, not only on security but, as I said, we will have some concrete proposals today also on economic support, something that is very important for Tunisia. - The starting point is discussing together with the Tunisian authorities what is best to do together. - Sul piano dell'immigrazione, a che punto siamo? - Questo oggi è nelle mani dei Ministri dell'Interno. Sul piano dei Ministri degli Esteri oggi discuteremo della Libia con l'inviato Speciale delle Nazioni Unite Bernardino León, del sostegno all'inizio di processo di formazione di un Governo di unità nazionale in Libia e questo è il nostro contributo anche a risolvere il tema dell'immigrazione. Oggi avremo il Primo Ministro tunisino per discutere di sostegno a quel Paese, dal punto di vista economico, dal punto di vista della sicurezza e ovviamente parleremo anche dell'accordo iraniano e del Processo di Pace in Medio Oriente. - Per quanto riguarda l'immigrazione, come sapete bene la questione della redistribuzione - del resettlement e della relocation - oggi è sul tavolo non dei Ministri degli Esteri, ma dei Ministri dell'Interno che ne hanno competenza. Io posso dire, per quel che riguarda la nostra azione esterna come politica estera dell'Unione Europea, che abbiamo messo in moto tutto ciò che poteva essere fatto: stiamo lavorando con i Paesi partner nella sponda sud del Mediterraneo, in Africa. Questo è un processo ben avviato e come sapete l'operazione nel Mediterraneo è partita già un mese fa e sta arrivando al suo dispiegamento massimo dal punto di vista operativo. Ora sta agli Stati Membri, alla loro responsabilità interna dell'accoglienza, della solidarietà, della condivisione, essere coerenti con quelle scelte che i capi di Stato e di governo hanno fatto. Scelte non soltanto di avere una politica estera rivolta alla gestione dell'immigrazione, ma anche una politica interna rivolta alla solidarietà e alla condivisione dell'accoglienza. Mi aspetto che i Ministri dell'Interno oggi facciano delle scelte coerenti e conseguenti con quello che tutti insieme abbiamo deciso e che tutti quanti hanno chiesto all'Europa: di essere unita, Lo siamo sul versante esterno, è bene che lo siamo anche sul versante interno. - On Bosnia and Herzegovina, only bad news coming? - No, sometimes from Bosnia and Herzegovina we have good news and we hope that it will be possible to go back to that again. This is not officially today on the agenda but I hope that the reform agenda can move forward, this is the priority for the Bosnian people and this requires unity from the Bosnian authorities, all of them. And I hope that all of them can show responsibility towards their people in these difficult days. - Thank you! - Link to the Video:..
  • YPO Africa Region Hosts Ignite Summit for Chief Executives Event Inspires Business Leaders to Contribute to Africa’s Future JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Africa Region of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the world’s premier peer network of chief executives and business leaders, held its second Africa Ignite Summit in Johannesburg, gathering 130 YPO members together to discuss opportunities for entrepreneurship […]..
  • Visit the meeting page Libya - The Council will also take stock of recent developments in the UN-facilitated political dialogue between the Libyan parties. Ministers will discuss what more the EU can do to ensure the broadest support and ownership of the peace plan. - Tunisia - Mi.....
  • CALENDRIER du 20 au 26 juillet 2015 CALENDRIER du 20 au 26 juillet 2015 - (Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine) - Déplacements et visites - Lundi 20 juillet - President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Habib Essid, Prime Minister of Tunisia. - Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Fatmir Besini, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. - Mr Andrus Ansip, Mr Carlos Moedas, and Mr Günther Oettinger receive representatives of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT). - Mr Jyrki Katainen receives Mr Lubomir Zaoralek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. - Mr Johannes Hahn participates in the Stabilisation and Association Council with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. - Mr Neven Mimica receives Mr Philippe Dessoy, President of the International Contractors. - Mr Miguel Arias Cañete in Paris (20-21/07): participates in an informal ministerial consultation meeting to prepare the COP21. - Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Lecce, Italy: visits areas infected by the 'Xylella fastidiosa' bacteria, together with Mr Maurizio Martina, Minister of Agriculture of Italy and Mr Michele Emiliano, President of Apulia Region, including meeting with representatives of agricultural organisations, environmental associations, mayors and nursery owners. - Mr Phil Hogan in Cardiff: participates at the Royal Welsh Agriculture Show and visits farms. - Mr Jonathan Hill receives Mr Vidar Helgesen, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs of Norway. - Mardi 21 juillet - President Jean-Claude Juncker participates in the Belgian National Day celebration (Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral). - President Jean-Claude Juncker participates in the Reception hosted by Mr Didier Reynders on the occasion of the Belgian National Day celebration (Egmont Palace). - Ms Federica Mogherini on a bilateral visit to Rabat, Morocco. - Mr Miguel Arias Cañete in Paris (20-21/07): participates in informal ministerial consultation meeting to prepare the COP21. - Mr Phil Hogan in Cardiff: participates at the Royal Welsh Agriculture Show and visits farms. - Mercredi 22 juillet - College meeting in Brussels. - President Jean-Claude Juncker and the College receive Mr Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. - President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Alain Rousset, President of the Associations of French Regions. - Mr Frans Timmermans and Ms Marianne Thyssen receive Mr Jacques Toubon, Human Rights Defender of France. - Ms Federica Mogherini receives Archbishop Alain Paul Charles Lebeaupin, Apostolic Nuncio to European Union. - Ms Federica Mogherini receives Ms Lotte Leicht, Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch. - Mr Andrus Ansip receives Ms Penny Sue Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. - Mr Maroš Šefčovič receives Ms Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation BEUC. - Mr Jyrki Katainen signs the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) agreement alongside Mr Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. - Mr Pierre Moscovici receives Mr Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President responsible for Innovation, the European Investment Bank. - Mr Jonathan Hill receives Mr Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, Chairman of the Management Board, Intesa Sanpaolo. - Ms Violeta Bulc receives Mr Michael O'Leary, CEO, Ryanair. - Jeudi 23 juillet - President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Josef Pühringer, Governor of the Austrian Province of Upper Austria. - President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Pierre Gramegna, Finance Minister of Luxembourg. - Mr Frans Timmermans and Ms Vĕra Jourová receive Mr Sajid Javid, the U.K. Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. - Ms Federica Mogherini on a bilateral visitto Bulgaria. - Mr Jyrki Katainen andMs Vĕra Jourová receive Mrs Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. - Mr Karmenu Vella receives Ms Dorota Niedziela, Secretary of State for the Environment of Poland. - Mr Carlos Moedas receives Mr James Anderson, Head of Corporate Government Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline. - Vendredi 24 juillet - Ms Federica Mogherini on a bilateral visit to Cyprus. - Mr Phil Hogan attends Libramont Agriculture Fair in Libramont, Belgium. - Samedi 25 juillet - Dimanche 26 juillet - Prévisions du mois d'août: - Prévisions du mois de septembre: - 07-10/09 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg - 11/09 Eurogroup, in Brussels - 14/09 General Affairs Council, in Brussels - 16/09 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels - 18/09 Environment Council, in Brussels - Prévisions du mois d'octobre: - 01-02/10 Competitiveness Council, in Luxembourg - 05/10 Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, in Luxembourg - 05/10 Eurogroup, in Brussels - 05-08/10 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg - 06/10 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Luxembourg - 08/10 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Luxembourg - 08-09/10 Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Luxembourg - 12/10 Foreign Affairs Council, in Luxembourg - 13/10 General Affairs Council, in Luxembourg - 14/10 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels - 15-16/10 European Council, in Brussels - 22-23/10 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Luxembourg - 26/10 Environment Council, in Luxembourg - 26/10 Foreign Affairs Council, in Luxembourg - 26-29/10 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg - Prévisions du mois de novembre: - 09/11 Eurogroup, in Brussels - 10/11 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels - 11/11 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels - 13/11 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels - 16-17/11 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels - 17/11 General Affairs Council, in Brussels - 23/11 Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council, in Brussels - 23-26/11 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg - 26/11 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Brussels - 27/11 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels - 30/11-01/12 Competitiveness Council, in Brussels - Prévisions du mois de décembre: - 30/11-01/12 Competitiveness Council, in Brussels - 02/12 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels - 03-04/12 Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Brussels - 07/12 Eurogroup, in Brussels - 08/12 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels - 08/12 Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, in Brussels - 10-11/12 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Brussels - 14-15/12 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels - 14-17/12 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg - 15/12 General Affairs Council, in Brussels - 15/12 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels - 16/12 Environment Council, in Brussels - 17-18/12 European Council, in Brussels - Permanence: DG COMM le WE du 18 au 19 juillet: - Mr Daniel Rosario, GSM: +32 460 764 267 - Permanence RAPID - GSM: +32 498 982 748 - Service Audiovisuel, planning studio – tel.: +32 229 52123..
  • Indicative programme - Foreign Affairs Council of 20 June 2015 Place: Justus Lipsius building, Brussels - Chair(s): Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy - All times are approximate and subject to change - ttbc - Doorstep by High Representative Federica Mogherini (VIP entrance) - 9.30 - Roundtable (TV/photo opportunity) - Beginning of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting - Adoption of the agenda - Adoption of A-items - Iran - Libya - Tunisia - 12.30 - Working lunch with Tunisia Prime Minister Habib Essid and Foreign Minister Taïeb Baccouche - 14.20 - Press statements by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Tunisia Prime Minister Habib Essid (tbc) - 14.35 - Photo opportunity: EU Foreign ministers and EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis (tbc) - Middle East Peace Process - EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2015-19 - AOB - 17.00 - Press conference - In the margins of the Council: - 18.00 - EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Council (TV/photo opportunity) - 20.30 - Press conference..
  • Human Rights Defender Award Ceremony DEPUTY SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, thank you all very, very much. And if you’ll allow me, I just want to start before we get to our honorees with a few words about the good friend who just introduced me, Tom Malinowski. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Tom, working with Tom, for more than a couple of decades now, starting right here in this building. And there has not been a single day when I have not seen him fight with all his might and all his heart for the rights and dignity of all people. In a world where basic human values are more easily baked into rhetoric, not action, Tom’s unyielding commitment continues to hold all of us, leaders and citizens of every country, to a higher standard. And I have to say I’m grateful for that every day. Thank you. - It’s a profound privilege to join you this afternoon to honor Azimjan Askarov of Kyrgyzstan and the NGO Foro Penal of Venezuela with the 2014 Human Rights Defenders Award. It’s also a responsibility that I approach with deep humility and admiration for those in this room today and the communities that you represent: advocates, champions, defenders who turn to confront adversity when so many others turn away. Your voices, your persistence, your leadership is needed now more than ever, just as Tom said. As we meet today, the space for civil society is shrinking and the tolerance for free expression is contracting in many parts of the world. It’s under attack through restrictive laws, arbitrary arrests, sanctioned brutality. It’s under siege where power has become concentrated in the hands of a few and corruption has become a way of life. It is under threat by those who see independent media, free assembly, and open society as a source of insecurity instead of the essential guarantors of long-term strength, stability, progress, and prosperity, as we know them to be. - But against this tide, people are resisting. They’re affirming their rights and holding their leaders accountable through historic elections from Nigeria to Afghanistan. They’re making their voices heard and pressing for important reforms from Ukraine to Vietnam. They’ve seized cracks in authoritarian rule and widened them into democratic openings from Burma to Tunisia. And they’re fighting for peace, for dignity, for genuine democracy from Kyrgyzstan to Venezuela. Today we’re here to honor those individuals whose unflinching courage in even the most dangerous and despairing circumstances has advanced the cause of freedom and justice on which all of us depend. - Fifteen years ago, Azimjan Askarov became the first human rights activist to receive permission to monitor detention facilities in Kyrgyzstan, a task he undertook with firm commitment to defend the rights of the vulnerable and to uphold the truth. He exposed abuse within the prosecutor’s office, uncovered beatings of religious detainees, and founded the organization Vozduh, a beautifully apt name that means “air,” in order to monitor the conditions inside of prisons. When violence erupted between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010, Askarov made it a priority to publicly report on the crisis and document violations of human rights. - But he didn’t stop there. It was not enough to sound the alarms. He also wanted to help heal the nation’s wounds by encouraging reconciliation between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. For his work during this crisis, a time when his nation needed him most, he was arrested, subjected to harsh mistreatment, judged in a trial rife with procedural irregularities, and sentenced to life imprisonment, where he remains to this day. Many would have given up then and there. Many would have been broken. Not Askarov. He continues the fight from the confines of his cell, undeterred by walls or barriers, as the name of his organization Vozduh suggests. He sends letters of encouragement to fellow activists and organizes cultural events to foster reconciliation. Perhaps most importantly, he continues to inspire and unite the entire human rights community in Kyrgyzstan, bringing together leaders from all ethnicities and backgrounds to help move their country forward, and he’s doing this from inside a prison. - Today, we are very honored that Askarov’s son Sherzod is here to accept this award on his father’s behalf, which we’ll present in a moment. We are grateful to you for being here and we’re so honored to have you. We only wish that your father could be with us as well. - More than 8,000 miles away, an impressive organization of 200 lawyers and 1,000 human rights defenders is leading a similar fight with fortitude, moral purpose, and a deep commitment to justice and political dialogue. Since its founding 2002, the Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal has provided the international community with insight into government impunity and political manipulation, publicized human rights abuses committed by government officials. It’s coordinated legal action and defense on several cases of political persecution, filed petitions about the deterioration of Venezuela’s rule of law and judicial independence before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and before the United Nations. - In 2014, the NGO provided critical information about the treatment and condition of those detained during nationwide protests, when calls for change were met with tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets. Today a majority of these student demonstrators who have pending charges receive free counsel from Foro Penal. The risk to Foro Penal to the safety, to the property, to the freedom of its lawyers and defenders is very real. But their work carries on. Defenders have been harassed; they’ve been arrested. They have been physically intimidated. But their work carries on. - As we have engaged the government, political opposition, and civil society in Venezuela, we’ve underscored the importance of dialogue, the respect for accountable institutions, and our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms. And we’ll continue to work with Foro Penal and groups just like it. - Today’s award to Foro Penal recognizes an important leader in this effort to nurture greater democratic ethos and advance the aspirations for all of Venezuela’s citizens. We’re very honored that Foro Penal’s executive director, Alfredo Romero, and its founder, Gonzalo Himiob, are here to accept the award on behalf of the organization and all of their remarkable colleagues. Thank you for being here. - We have a saying in America that one person of courage makes a majority. One voice of justice, one expression of compassion, one act of conscience can echo across lands and through generations to become more powerful than intolerance, more powerful than corruption, more powerful than indignity. And it begins with each of you. - On behalf of President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the American people, it is my privilege to present Mr. Askarov, Mr. Himiob, and Mr. Romero with the 2014 Human Rights Defender Award. Thank you. (Applause.)..
  • Initiative with Ethiopia aims to boost opportunities for rural youth Ethiopian farmer sifting beans. The project aims to obtain a better understanding of the dynamics leading rural people, especially the young, to seek employment elsewhere. - 16 July 2015, Addis Ababa - FAO and the government of Ethiopia today signed a partnership agreement which aims to reduce youth mobility caused by poverty, through innovative policies that will create jobs and business opportunities for young people in the agricultural sector and in rural areas more broadly. - The two-year project is being supported with funds provided by the Italian government and aims to obtain a better understanding of the dynamics that lead rural people - youth in particular - to leave their homes and seek employment elsewhere. - The improved evidence on rural migration trends and impacts will help policy-makers, improve agricultural and rural development policies in order to increase employment opportunities, and make rural areas more attractive to young people. - The total contribution by the Italian government amounts to $2.5 million for the project as a whole, which includes a similar initiative with Tunisia. The partnership agreement with the Tunisian government is set to be signed at a later stage. - The project will further provide support to strengthen capacities of Ministries of Agriculture, Youth, Labour and Vocational Training in Ethiopia in the design and implementation of such policies. Representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations will also be supported and their capacities strengthened to engage in the development of relevant policies and programmes. - Initiatives geared towards civil society will aim at empowering producer organizations, youth groups and migrants' networks in particular. - The partnership agreement was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ethiopia, Tefera Derebrew and FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, at an event during the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development. - "Identifying critical entry points of this project and aligning it with our national policies and strategies, will help to address poverty issues in rural areas and ensure the successful implementation of this project about rural jobs for youth," said Minister Derebrew. - Graziano da Silva said: "In the next decades, demographic trends, globalization, inequality, and climate change are likely to further increase migration pressures both within and across countries. Distress economic migration is particularly high among the rural youth." - "Ethiopia faces major youth and migration challenge, and is at the forefront in efforts to transform its agricultural sector and rural areas towards more inclusive and job-rich pathways of development," the FAO Director-General added. - Also present at the signing ceremony was the Ambassador of Italy in Ethiopia, Giuseppe Mistretta whose country is providing the critical resources to fund the programme. Italy has a keen interest in youth employment issues throughout the world and is placing major emphasis on this area in its development programmes. - Earlier this week Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi, speaking at the The 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, outlined his government's intention to step up co-operation efforts with African countries. - "The real challenge for us is not only to save human lives...the real challenge is to create jobs here, to create a new perspective of hope. People are escaping from a condition of poverty, of need, of conflict, of persecution, people are looking for a better future," Renzi added. - "We need to address the root causes that force migrants to leave their families. We must invest in Africa," the Italian Prime Minister said. "We must absolutely invest in agriculture...in food ... in education, creating jobs to fight economic poverty." - Improving knowledge - The outcomes of the Ethiopia-FAO initiative supported by Italy include: - Improved knowledge and awareness on how to harness the potential of economic mobility to promote youth employment in agriculture. This involves assessing how mobility patterns impact on rural livelihoods, and the role that migration and remittances play in rural transformation processes and employment generation. - Strengthened policies in Ethiopia aimed at making it easier for young people in rural areas to find jobs in farm and non-farm activities, including through the promotion of start-up businesses and off-season employment opportunities. - Lessons learned will inform global debates on economic mobility. Experiences in Ethiopia and the data collected will also be used to enhance international dialogue such as that between the European Union and African countries, as well as within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. - Regional problems reflect a global challenge - Currently, there are 740 million internal and 232 million international migrants in the world --many of them young and mainly from rural areas -- who feel forced to migrate due to poverty and a lack of local opportunities. - In Ethiopia - where over 30 percent of the population is living in extreme poverty and 32 percent of the population is undernourished - migration, both internal and external, is a key livelihood strategy for many households. - Young Ethiopians living in rural areas are facing increasing difficulties in accessing land - due to population pressure and environmental degradation - and in finding jobs. - A majority of migrants are male, often leaving women behind to take care of the farm and the household. This puts women in a particularly disadvantaged position as they face greater difficulties accessing inputs, credits and other means to keep up farm production and as they tend to have less access to alternative employment and business opportunities...
  • Rendeavour devient sponsor du Sommet mondial de l’entreprenariat (GES) - La plus grande société de développement urbain d’Afrique s’associe à une initiative du gouvernement américain à Nairobi NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 juillet 2015 / PRNewswire – Rendeavour, la plus grande société de développement urbain d’Afrique, a annoncé aujourd’hui son soutien pour le Sommet mondial de l’entreprenariat (GES), auquel participera le Président des États-Unis, M. Barack Obama. Le sommet […]..
  • Risen Energy signe un contrat de vente pour des modules d’une valeur de 1,138 milliard de RMB avec KongSun Yongtai NINGBO, Chine, 16 juillet 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Risen Energy Co., Ltd et KongSun Yongtai Investment Holding Ltd ont récemment signé un contrat de vente portant sur des modules. Risen Energy va fournir des modules photovoltaïques à KongSun Yongtai et le montant total du contrat s’élève à 1,138 milliard de RMB. Dans le contrat sont inclus 3 différents types […]..
  • Rendeavour sponsors Global Entrepreneurship Summit - Africa’s largest urban land developer is partner in US Government initiative in Nairobi NAIROBI, Kenya, July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Rendeavour, Africa’s largest urban land developer, announced today its support for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will feature US President Barack Obama and will be held in Nairobi on 25-26 July. The GES will take […]..
  • Press release - Luxembourg Presidency priorities discussed by EP committees - Committee on... The priorities of Luxembourg EU Council Presidency will be outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Luxembourg ministers in a series of meetings to be held during this week. - Culture and Education - Culture’s role in development policy will be the key focus for the six coming months, ministers for culture Maggy Nagel and education and research Claude Meisch told the Culture and Education Committee on Tuesday. Completing the digital single market is another of the Luxembourg ministers’ priorities. Concerning education, priority will be given to integrating national education systems, lowering the dropout rate and promoting an active civic engagement of young people, to prevent marginalization and youth radicalization. - MEPs asked about and debated issues to do with funding education, supporting multilingualism and striking a fair balance between access to content and remunerating its creators in the digital world. - Women’s Rights and Gender Equality - The Presidency will urge EU member states to ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention on preventing violence against women, equal opportunities minister Lydia Mutsch and family affairs and integration minister Corinne Cahen told the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee on Tuesday. The women on company boards directive is also a priority: “we will seek compromise in the Council to support quotas, so as to get more women into top positions”, Ms Mutsch said. - As to the maternity leave directive, the Presidency will invite the Commission to present a new initiative as soon as possible. Parental and paternity leave are equally important, to enable fathers to make more flexible arrangements and take up more family responsibilities, the ministers said. - Transport and Tourism - The Presidency will focus on finding an agreement on the 4th Railway Package governance and public contracting rules, the “political pillar”, transport minister François Bausch told the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. The second priority is aviation, and particularly air passenger rights. Mr Bausch also listed emissions from the transport sector, investment in transport infrastructure, and road safety as key concerns. The Presidency would like the December Council meeting to tackle social issues in transport and plans to hold an informal Council meeting on urban mobility in October, the minister added. - International Trade - Putting forward a reformed mechanism to settle investor -state disputes, in line with the resolution approved by Parliament on 8 July, will be a Presidency priority in talks with the US on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), foreign and European affairs minister Jean Asselborn told the International Trade Committee on Tuesday. Mr Asselborn, also promised Trade MEPs that the agreement already concluded with Canada (CETA) will not reintroduce the “old ISDS” via the back door and reported that talks were already under way between Canada and EU member state ministers on ways to include courts, judges, public hearings and appellate system in the mechanism. - Concluding a trade deal with Vietnam, more progress with Japan, launching trade talks with Tunisia and re-launching those with India were also on his “to do” list. - Legal Affairs - Reforming the Court of Justice by increasing the number of judges in the General Court will be a key priority for the Presidency, justice minister Féliz Braz told the Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday. This would involve costs, but not doing anything would also have a price tag as well, he added. On the trade secrets proposal, the Presidency will aim to finalize negotiations as soon as possible, seeking a balanced deal which ensures employee mobility and proper protection for whistle blowers, economic affairs minister Etienne Schneider added. - Replying to MEPs questions on the revision of shareholders’ rights and proposals for a country-by-country tax reporting requirement, the ministers promised they will take Parliament’s call seriously and consult the member states before starting negotiations with MEPs...
  • Risen Energy Signs RMB 1.138 Billion Module Sale Contract with KongSun Yongtai NINGBO, China, July 15, 2015 / PRNewswire — Risen Energy Co., Ltd and KongSun Yongtai Investment Holding Ltd have signed a module sale contract lately. Risen Energy will supply solar modules to KongSun Yongtai and the total amount is RMB1.138 billion. 3 different types of poly modules, 260W, 265W, 270W, are included in the contract. With these modules supply contract […]..
  • So, So Close to an Iran Nuke Deal At press time here at DAWNS, it looked very likely that the P5+1 and Iran are going to agree on a final nuclear accord in the early morning hours. “A draft nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers calls for U.N. inspectors to have access to all suspect Iranian sites, including military, based on consultations between the powers and Tehran, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday. The source also said that if the deal is accepted, a U.N. Security Council resolution on it would ideally be adopted this month and the steps to be taken by both sides – including Iranian limitations on its nuclear program and relief from sanctions on Iran – would be implemented in the first half of 2016.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/1Ddh3zX) - A Promising Ebola Vaccine…A single dose of a new Ebola vaccine that can be inhaled has been found to neutralize the deadly virus in monkeys, researchers reported on Monday. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, demonstrated that the aerosol Ebola vaccine activated immune cells in the respiratory system of rhesus macaques and provided full protection against the virus. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. It was the first attempt to use an aerosol to vaccinate monkeys against a hemorrhagic viral fever, the study’s authors said.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1Ld1OO2) - Quote of the Day: “A trillion-dollar investment need is also a trillion-dollar investment opportunity,” — Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and CEO of the SE4All initiative. Context: A new UN A new United Nations-backed report launched today at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis details concrete ways to boost crucial investment in sustainable energy by some $120 billion a year. (UN News Center http://bit.ly/1Ld0t9S) - Africa - Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza may find an election victory he is assured of this month swiftly overshadowed by the emergence of an armed insurgency in a nation at the heart of one of Africa’s most combustible regions. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HCpfuy) - Security forces in Burundi said Monday they have arrested around 100 suspected rebels and seized a number of weapons in a crackdown ahead of next week’s presidential elections. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HCpgyH) - Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced his entire military top brass to boost the fight against Boko Haram militants, as the group continues to launch new attacks. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Ld0EC6) - Zambian authorities on Monday dropped the case against a musician who was arrested over a bawdy song that lampooned the country’s president as a drunk incompetent. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HCpiGT) - Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni will fly to Burundi on Tuesday to mediate between government and opposition leaders, an official said, a personal intervention underlining the scale of regional alarm over an increasingly violent stand-off. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1HqmFZB) - Despite an apartheid-era ban on women working underground only being lifted in 1996, 15 percent of all employees in the mining sector are now female, exceeding the South African government’s own target of 10 percent. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1IVes46) - Africa’s Ebola epidemic has not run its course and around 30 people are still getting infected each week, the United Nations’ special envoy for the disease said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1M6f74B) - Norwegian energy company Scatec Solar is set to start construction of a 33 megawatt solar plant outside Mali’s capital, that will be the largest of its kind in West Africa when it opens in 2016, the company said on Friday. - MENA - Frustrated by the UN’s failure to deliver desperately needed aid, residents of Aden in war-torn Yemen have started to vent their anger at the world body and at rebels besieging their city. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1fCGCpo) - The United States is holding discussions with countries in North Africa about locating drones at a base there to heighten monitoring of Islamic State in Libya, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing a senior administration official. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1eWgZPg) - Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has urged wealthy countries do more to help desperate Syrian war refugees, calling them “quite stingy.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1HCpllZ) - The blood on the sand has washed away, but the damage inflicted on Tunisia by a few terrifying minutes of gunfire at a beach resort will be deep and lasting. The tourism industry, the lifeline for the north African country’s economy, is likely to be gutted after 38 tourists were killed in the June 26 rampage in Sousse. (AP http://yhoo.it/1fCDzNS) - UNESCO has weighed in on the rivalry, designating Jordan’s baptismal area on the eastern bank a World Heritage site. The U.N. cultural agency declared this month that the site “is believed to be” the location of Jesus’ baptism, based on what it said is a view shared by most Christian churches. (AP http://yhoo.it/1eWh9Ge) - Asia - China’s total trade slumped in the first half of this year, official data showed Monday, falling well short of the government’s targets and dealing a blow to the global economy from its biggest trader in goods. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1eWgXXM) - Thailand has approved loans of up to $1.77 billion to support farmers affected by drought, the finance minister said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1fCDY2L) - Nearly 75 percent of China’s big cities failed to meet air quality standards in June, the environment ministry said on Monday, an improvement over the same month last year, as the country continues to wage “war on pollution.” (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1IVe6KS) - China’s biggest carbon market in Guangdong province will allocate 408 million carbon permits to firms to help them comply with emission targets set for the trading year ending in June 2016, the same amount as the previous year. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HCpiXs) - The Malaysian police said on Monday that they were opening an investigation into whether government officials, including central bank personnel, were the source of leaked documents purporting to show the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars into the bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1Ld1DSK ) - The Americas - Security forces in Mexico are searching for one of the world’s most powerful drug lords, Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, following his escape from a maximum-security jail on Saturday. (BBC http://bbc.in/1DbOAus) - …and the rest - The world must recognise the central role that sustainable development can play in improving global security and tackling migration as it prepares to set the development agenda for the next 15 years, a senior UN official has warned. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fCGMNq) - A group of climate change activists cut through a perimeter fence at London Heathrow airport on Monday to stage a protest on one of its two runways, causing cancellations and delays to flights, officials said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1eWh4SZ) - Hungary has begun building a fence on the country’s southern border with Serbia, meant to stem the unprecedented flow of migrants, the government said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HCpjuk) - Opinion/Blogs - Women in Sport – Scoring for Equality (IPS http://bit.ly/1IVdMM4) - The former US AIDS Chief Now Works for the UN to Fight TB. He’s back in Washington with a message. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1K3R7fb) - Should More Women Give Birth Outside The Hospital? (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1DbOGlH) - Addis Ababa development finance summit: all you need to know (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fCGGp8) - Celebrity efforts to ‘save Africa’ ha​​ve often only reinforced stereotypes (Guardian http://bit.ly/1fCGMNx) - Discussion - comments.....
  • SYZ acquiert Royal Bank of Canada(Suisse) SA Genève,14juillet2015–Le groupe bancaire suisseSYZ poursuit son expansionavec la conclusion d’un accord en vue d’acquérir Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA. Avec près de CHF 10 milliards sous gestion, labanque privéesuisse de RBC est active principalement en Amérique Latine,en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient, des marchés complémentaires pour le Groupe SYZ,qui gèreraprès deCHF 40 milliards d’actifs après […]..
  • SYZ Group acquires Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA GENEVA, July 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GENEVA, July 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Swiss banking group SYZ continues to expand with the signing of an agreement to acquire Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA. With approximately CHF 10 billion in assets under management, the Swiss private banking subsidiary of RBC is chiefly active […]..
  • Presidential Memorandum -- Designation of the Republic of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally July 10, 2015 - Presidential DeterminationNo. 2015-09 - MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE - SUBJECT: Designation of the Republic of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally - Consistent with the authority vested in me as President by section 517 of the Foreign Ass.....
  • 30 innovations that could transform global health: Introducing the Innovation Countdown 2030 report – PATH leads global initiative to crowdsource and assess innovations with the potential to save millions of lives by 2030 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The PATH-led Innovation Countdown 2030 initiative (IC2030) today launched its inaugural report, Reimagining Global Health, at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. The report features […]..
  • 30 innovations susceptibles de transformer la santé à travers le monde : présentation du rapport Innovation Countdown 2030 – PATH à la tête d’une initiative mondiale d’externalisation ouverte et d’évaluation d’innovations susceptibles de sauver plusieurs millions de vies d’ici 2030 ADDIS-ABEBA, Éthiopie, le 13 juillet 2015 /PRNewswire/ — L’initiative Innovation Countdown 2030 (IC2030) dirigée par PATH a présenté aujourd’hui son rapport inaugural, intitulé Reimagining Global Health (Ré-imaginer la santé à travers le monde), lors de […]..
  • AGI SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH ACI – AGENCE CONGOLAISE D’INFORMATION ( REPUBLIC OF CONGO ) Brazzaville, 10 July 2015 – The General Director of ACI – Agence Congolaise de Presse and Vice President of FAAPA – Fédération Atlantique des Agences de Presse Africaines, Mr Anasth Wilfrid Mbossa, and the Chief Executive Officer of Agi- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, Mr Gianni Di Giovanni, signed today in Brazzaville, in the presence of the […]..
  • Main topics and media events 13 - 26 July 2015 12 July 2015 - Euro summit and Special meeting of the European Council - The summit starts at 16.00 and will be followed by a Special meeting of the European Council at 18.00. - 13 July 2015 - Agriculture and Fisheries Council - Ministers will have an exchange of views on a recent Commission communication reviewing the decision-making process on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and on a proposal for a regulation on the possibility for member states to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed. - 14 July 2015 - Economic and Financial Affairs Council - The Council will discuss next steps for strengthening economic governance in the euro area. It is also expected to adopt country-specific recommendations on the economic, fiscal and employment policies of member states. - 20 July 2015 - Foreign Affairs Council - The Council will discuss Iran, in the context of the ongoing negotiations regarding the Iranian nuclear issue. The Council will also examine the situation in Tunisia and how to step up EU support for the country, both in the socio-economic field and in the security area...
  • Daily Press Briefings : Daily Press Briefing - July 10, 2015 2:01 p.m. EDT - MR TONER: Hey, everyone. Happy Friday. I’m willing to make this a brief briefing if you’re all in accord with me. Or obviously, take all your questions. Welcome to the State Department. Just a very couple of brief things at the top. Quickly, just an update on what’s happening in Vienna. As you saw this morning no doubt, we’re going to continue negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program through Monday. All of the terms of the JPOA will continue while we work with our P5+1 partners and the EU to see if we can reach a final deal with Iran. The Secretary obviously will remain in Vienna through the weekend with his team and continues to meet with other P5+1 members as well as the EU in Iran. - And as the Secretary said yesterday, we believe we’re making real progress toward a comprehensive and – or a comprehensive deal, and we’re not going to let ourselves be rushed through any aspect of this. So some tough issues remain, obviously, unresolved, which is why we’re continuing to work on this through the weekend. - Just also wanted to note, I spoke a little bit – or no, apologies. I wanted to welcome the meeting that took place earlier today between Prime Ministers Modi and Sharif and their announcement of future engagement between India and Pakistan. We also welcome the announcement that India and Pakistan will discuss a range of bilateral issues, including security, people-to-people ties and expediting the Mumbai trial. And we support all steps between the Governments of India and Pakistan to strengthen their dialogue and cooperation. - And with that, I’ll take your questions. Go ahead. - QUESTION: Yes, just on Iran, you mentioned that the talks are extended through Monday. What happens if there isn’t an agreement on Monday? - MR TONER: Well, okay. (Laughter.) I mean obviously, look, if there’s an agreement, that’s what we’re striving for – a good deal. We’ve said this numerous times. We’re not going to be driven by deadlines. We’re rather going to be driven by getting the best possible deal we can. - QUESTION: So what I mean is Monday is not a deadline. It could go into Tuesday or Wednesday, Thursday? - MR TONER: Well, look, again, I just – right, in the sense that we’re going to continue talking. I mean it’s – look, the parties are all there, they’re engaged, they’re working through some tough issues, there’s still work that needs to be done, but they’re going to continue working through the weekend. They’re going to be working at this every day. They’re working on it right now as we speak, or as I speak. But the emphasis here is on getting the best possible deal we can, and the Secretary said this as much yesterday when he said, “I’m willing to stay here and negotiate, but also willing to walk away.” - QUESTION: At what point does the U.S. walk away from the talks, and does that mean that the other members of the P5+1 would also walk away and allow Iran to basically walk away from the terms of the JPOA? - MR TONER: Well, again, we’re not there yet, so I’m not going to speculate on what might happen next. All the parties there in Vienna are working on getting a good deal. - QUESTION: But why even say we’re not going to negotiate forever, we’re prepared to walk away unless the U.S. truly believes that the Iranians are not negotiating in good faith? Why even put that threat out there? - MR TONER: Well, again, I think we’re – look, the emphasis here is on working through these tough issues that remain, and we’ve been very upfront about saying that there are issues that remain unresolved, and we have to work through them. So we’re going to continue to do that. But, as we’ve continually said throughout this process, we’ve got to get the best possible deal, one that passes scrutiny, one that prevents Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon or acquiring a nuclear weapon, and we’re going to keep at that. - QUESTION: How much of this extension of the deadlines – and we’re now in the second round of deadline extensions – how important is it to prevent Iran from doing whatever it had been doing before the JPOA took effect in order to head off some sort of broader arms race across the Middle East? - MR TONER: I’m not quite sure I understand the question, how important -- - QUESTION: Well, because Iran, according to the U.S. and others in the P5+1, hasn’t done anything more with its nuclear program because of these talks -- - MR TONER: Right. - QUESTION: -- and because some analysts have suggested that if these talks fell apart and Iran were then free to do whatever it wanted to do, that it might inspire other countries in the region to try to have similar – to have parity, to try to develop their own nuclear weapons, how much is that scenario playing into the U.S.’s commitment to keep talking regardless of what deadlines are on the table? - MR TONER: Well, again, I just would say that the focus on our part and obviously our P5+1 partners remains on getting a good deal, and that’s where the emphasis is, and those talks continue in Vienna. - As to what the broader implications of Iran’s nuclear ambitions might be, we’ve spoken to that many, many times, and the implications that that might have on the region. And that’s one of the reasons why we’re trying to prevent that from happening through a good deal. - QUESTION: And my final one on this: Are you getting any sense from the delegation that they’re very close to working out these issues? Or are they just saying, “Let’s just try to get through the weekend and then Sunday night, Monday, we’re going to review with the President and figure out what our next step will be.” - MR TONER: Look, I’m not going to speculate other than to say they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t still working – hard at work and with an expectation that they can work through these issues. - Next issue? Yeah, sure. - QUESTION: You mentioned India and Pakistan. - MR TONER: Yeah. - QUESTION: I understand that India and Pakistan began a session process for – to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. I wonder how the United States views that, especially – but also, I mean, to combine that question and to follow up on the questions on Russia yesterday, where General Dunford referred to Russia as the biggest national security threat. Does the United States State Department share that assessment with him? - MR TONER: Well, first on the Shanghai cooperation agreement or group, I’d refer you to India and Pakistan for a reaction to that or for the reasons why they’ve chosen to join that group. - With respect to your question about General Dunford’s remarks yesterday, I think John, when he was here yesterday, was very clear on this issue that General Dunford is expected to provide his views, his assessment on which nations or entities pose a threat to the United States, and that’s his job. We certainly, as John spelled out yesterday, recognize the challenges that Russia, primarily through its actions in Ukraine, poses to the region. And as John spelled out, we’ve taken many steps, from reassurance with our NATO allies – reassurance measures, rather – to pursuing a peaceful diplomatic solution in Ukraine via the Minsk commitments and implementation of them to address those challenges. - But I would add that the Secretary doesn’t agree with the assessment that Russia is an existential threat to the United States, nor China, quite frankly. - QUESTION: Why not? - MR TONER: Well -- - QUESTION: I mean, they basically went in and took Crimea, which had been part of Ukraine since 1954, just took it back, even though the U.S. doesn’t recognize it -- - MR TONER: Sure. - QUESTION: -- and it is continually stirring up trouble in the eastern part of Ukraine, so much so that the Baltic states have appealed to the U.S. and the U.S. has responded by shoring up its commitment under Article 5 of NATO. So why shouldn’t the U.S. regard Russia as an existential threat? - MR TONER: Existential threat – well, let me finish, first of all. And I included China as well. These are major powers with whom we engage and cooperate on a number of issues despite any disagreements we may have with them. And those issues include, frankly, Iran and others – Syria, other issues around the world. - I would just say what the Secretary does consider an existential threat is the rapid growth of extremist groups like ISIL, particularly in ungoverned spaces. But to return to your specific question, we’ve been very frank about our assessment of what Russia is doing in eastern Ukraine and the need to address the threat that it poses there. And that includes other borderline states, including the Baltics. And as I said, we’ve addressed that through our reassurance efforts with our fellow NATO allies, and we’ll continue to do that. And we’re also helping, obviously, Ukraine through a variety of assistance as well as working, as I said, to help it and as well as Russia and the separatists implement the Minsk agreements. We need to find a peaceful diplomatic solution to Ukraine, and that’s where our focus has been. - QUESTION: (Inaudible.) - MR TONER: But we’ve been – but again, just to finish, we’ve been completely frank, I think, in calling out Russia for its involvement in eastern Ukraine in terms of troops, in terms of command and control, in terms of heavy equipment. - Where I think I tried to specify the difference is the word “existential.” Certainly, we have disagreements with Russia and its activities along or within the region, but we don’t view it as an existential threat. - QUESTION: And this may be -- - MR TONER: Sure. - QUESTION: -- an academic question, but I’m a little confused here. - MR TONER: Sure, yeah. - QUESTION: Is Russia not an existential threat because there are these international mechanisms through which the U.S. and other countries can show their displeasure through the UN Security Council, through NATO, through fill-in-the-blank, whereas with ISIL being at most a proto-state, as General Allen has suggested to us, there is no regular way of engaging and trying to compel ISIL and similar groups from doing the damage that they’ve been doing? Is that the difference? - MR TONER: Well, we do talk to Russia as well as China. We do talk about the range of issues that we have with them and the areas of disagreement that we have with them. And so in that sense, yes, I mean, we do have dialogue with them. We raise issues. And again, we’re very frank with Russia on where we disagree, including its actions in Ukraine. And yet we also – there are areas where we cooperate, such as preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. So in that sense, yes, we do have dialogue with them. - QUESTION: What about the fact that, as General Dunford specified during his confirmation hearing, that Russia is a fundamental existential threat because it has a nuclear arsenal? By the same argument, why isn’t India an existential threat? Why isn’t Pakistan an existential threat? Why isn’t France an existential threat? All three of these countries are nuclear powers. - MR TONER: Again, that was General Dunford’s assessment. And we said we don’t – that’s his job: to give that assessment, a frank analysis, a candid analysis of how he views the world and the security situation and the security threats. And he did that. I’m just pointing out that we don’t necessarily disagree – or we don’t necessarily agree with his assessment of Russia as an existential threat. - QUESTION: Have you heard from the Russians about General Dunford’s characterization? What was your response, the U.S. response, to any concerns the Russians may have raised about this description? - MR TONER: That’s a fair question. I’m not aware that we’ve had any – that they’ve raised those remarks with us in particular. I can check, but I don’t have any – yeah. - QUESTION: If you could take the question, that would be helpful. - MR TONER: Sure. Sure. I’ll see what I can find out. - Yeah, in the back. - QUESTION: So you’re saying now that ISIL is an existential threat? Is that correct? - MR TONER: Well, I used them as an example, but one of the points – or one of the challenges that we view as truly existential is the threat of these groups like ISIL and their existence, their growth in these kind of ungoverned spaces where they can thrive. - QUESTION: Is that a difference in -- - MR TONER: And we’ve been very clear about that as well. I mean, look, ISIL in particular but also al-Qaida pose real and tangible threats to the United States. - QUESTION: I think – I mean, previously the position seemed to be sort of downplaying the ability of ISIL to present a threat to the U.S. – I mean, saying that I think in Admiral Kirby’s words that they’re not, like, 10 feet tall, right? And so is that a new assessment -- - MR TONER: They’re not. I would agree with Admiral Kirby or John Kirby, they’re not 10 feet tall. But they are – their – as I said, their ability to attract foreign fighters – this is all things we’ve talked about and are trying and taking specific steps to address. But they are a threat, absolutely, a security threat. - Please. - QUESTION: Iran? - MR TONER: Yeah. I’m sorry -- - QUESTION: On Iran? - MR TONER: Yeah, please. - QUESTION: Yes. We’ve heard several times from this podium, you and John and others also, have said that the nuclear – this is a nuclear deal, and we are focusing now with Iran -- - MR TONER: Right. Mm-hmm. - QUESTION: -- on a nuclear deal and we are not talking about other issues with Iran. Does that mean if you have a nuclear deal, Iran will still be able to do their job in destabilization the regions and also sponsoring terrorism? Or is there anything else that – if they are doing that, so what is the benefit of a nuclear deal? - MR TONER: Well, I mean, as we – as I just said to Rosiland – to Roz, rather – that if you view a good deal on – that prohibits Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon is – if you think Iran – are of the mindset that Iran is open to change, it’s a good deal because it would, obviously, encourage that kind of exchange and engagement. But it’s also a good deal if you think Iran poses a regional threat and you want to prevent it, obviously, from acquiring a nuclear weapon that would only increase the threat that it poses to the region. So I think on both aspects you could say certainly achieving a good deal that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is a huge priority. - That said, and specifically to answer – or to respond to your other question, we’ve been very clear that these talks that we’re engaged in now in Vienna are about that task of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and – achieving a nuclear weapon, rather. And that’s the focus, but we’ve been – also been very clear that there, as you noted, Iran is still a state sponsor of terror, there are very real concerns about their involvement and their actions in the region to destabilize the region, and we’re going to continue through sanctions and through other means to try to work to prevent that with our friends and allies. - QUESTION: So that means the deal will not lift the sanctions – any of the sanctions related to the – their destabilization efforts and their sponsoring terrorism, that is -- - MR TONER: I’d just – I would leave it at that and say that certain restrictions sanctions will remain in place that don’t have to deal with the nuclear program. But again, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s let the agreement happen – or if it does happen, if we get there, all that will be – sorry – all that will be made clear. - QUESTION: Any reaction to demonstrations in Iran today? - MR TONER: Well, just that we’ve seen this before. It’s not uncommon for these kinds of public demonstrations to take place, the “Death to America” chants, the Quds Day marches. We’ve seen the same rhetoric, frankly, coming from Iran for many, many years. Obviously, we condemn it – especially the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments that we hear. But we’re also not going to be deterred or swayed by these comments. And we’re going to – as again, we’ve got a diplomatic process in place happening right now in Vienna, and that’s where the focus is, not on what’s being shouted on the streets in Tehran. - QUESTION: Is the assessment that the Quds Day demonstration and other recent comments is the regime allowing the more conservative elements to have their say, that this is about domestic politics and not so much about how Iran is trying to engage with the West? - MR TONER: Look, it’s hard to say and hard for me to say from here. I would encourage you to ask others who are probably more appropriately positioned to comment on what public sentiment is in Tehran and how that plays into Tehran’s over – or Iran’s overall strategy. As I said, our focus is on diplomatic process. - Please. - QUESTION: On Syria? - MR TONER: Sure. - QUESTION: So the U.S. is pushing a – this draft UN resolution to investigate chemical weapons usage. In the past, the U.S., when these incidents have happened, they’ve seemed to point repeatedly the finger at Assad. Now, is this – is it the objective of this to test that hypothesis and kind of use the UN to bring charges against Assad? Or does the U.S. legitimately think there are other – other people might be -- - MR TONER: Sure. - QUESTION: -- other perpetrators? - MR TONER: A couple of comments to make on this. First of all, we’re still really at the outset of any kind of resolution process, so I can’t really speak to it in much detail. It’s still in draft form. But Ambassador Power spoke to this, I believe, not too long ago, put out a statement that given the – I think she actually spoke yesterday, I apologize – given the frequent allegations of chlorine attacks in Syria, the absence – and this is key – of any international body to identify the perpetrators of these chemical weapons attacks, we feel it’s critical for the UN Security Council to find consensus and set up an independent, investigative mechanism. And so that’s the goal of this draft resolution that we’ve circulated. - So what we wanted to try to here is, again, is just to create a – or establish a joint, investigative mechanism that would allow the UN to build on the technical expertise of the OPCW. And then the goal of being able to carry out an independent, credible investigation to identify those involved in chemical attacks – or use of chemical weapons in Syria. - QUESTION: Do you have suspicions of who’s responsible -- - MR TONER: Well, we’ve said and the Secretary’s also spoken to this that the vast preponderance or the majority of – is the Assad regime. But again, we’re trying to put in place a mechanism that can independently look at these – look at the – and assign, frankly, assign blame. - Please. - QUESTION: Yeah. Can you update us on General Allen’s meeting in Turkey with the Turkish officials? Is there any developments? - MR TONER: Right. You’re talking about the – sorry, the meetings held over the last couple of days. So that was with, obviously, as you said, with Special Presidential Envoy General John Allen, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth, and an interagency delegation. They have departed – today is the 9th, isn’t it, or is it – 10th. So they had departed on the 9th, I apologize. They had constructive meetings. I don’t really have anything to add to whatever readout John gave yesterday, but discussed our mutual efforts as part of a broad coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL, but I don’t have any specifics, really, to get to. - Please. - QUESTION: There are reports that are talking about that he again urged the Turkish officials to help the coalition to use the Incirlik base. Is there any response from that, or has he ever discussed this with them? - MR TONER: No, I don’t have anything to announce or anything to add to that. - QUESTION: One more on – there is a Stabilization Working Group – I believe Brett McGurk is part of that – to return the stability of the regions being liberated from ISIS in Iraq like Tikrit and Diyala. There are report talking about that only 20 percent of those people could – able to return to the area. Some of the problem is security issues; the others is because of the international coalition and the working – the Stabilization Working Group has not been able to provide the assistance they promised to do. Is there any update on that, on Tikrit -- - MR TONER: Specifically what you’re – yeah, I’m sorry. - QUESTION: Yeah. Especially on Tikrit and Diyala, that there is still problem that the people fled from Tikrit and from Diyala, they have not been able to go back to their cities. Some of them is because of the militias threatening them and the others is because of lack of service that this Stabilization Working Group, which Brett McGurk is part of that -- - MR TONER: Right. - QUESTION: -- was meant to solve this problem. - MR TONER: I don’t have any updates on people returning to those cities today. I mean, I know that – I can just speak broadly about the efforts of the group and within – working in Iraq and Syria, but I don’t have any specifically thing to add to it. - QUESTION: But that’s still going on, these efforts, around the -- - MR TONER: These (inaudible) efforts -- - QUESTION: Yeah. - MR TONER: But specifically, what are you talking about? In terms of returning -- - QUESTION: Returning the residents and also providing the security for them and handing over is what was part of the kind of the bible for the group. - MR TONER: Yeah, right, right. - QUESTION: That – returning that order. - MR TONER: Yeah, no, those efforts continue, absolutely. Yeah. - QUESTION: Okay, thank you. - QUESTION: Syria -- - MR TONER: Please, go – yeah, you want to stay on -- - QUESTION: Yeah, staying on this but more focused on the refugees. UNRWA said that they are now officially 4 million refugees who have fled the civil war in Syria. And dovetailing with John’s comments last week about the World Food Program’s need to basically cut in half the value of food vouchers for these refugees, I wanted to find out whether the U.S. Government has decided to make any additional monies available to try to deal with this burgeoning crisis. - MR TONER: Well, it’s an important, obviously – and it is a crisis. We have – we spoke to this, as you said, a little bit the past week. If you’re talking about refugees here in the United States, there’s -- - QUESTION: No, I mean in Turkey -- - MR TONER: You’re talking about -- - QUESTION: In Turkey – in Turkey and Jordan. - MR TONER: Right. We’ve given – I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but we’ve given a tremendous amount of money already – I think more than any other country – to – in terms of humanitarian relief and assistance to these refugees. We also accept more refugees than any other – for resettlement through UNHCR than the rest of the world combined. But obviously, the broader picture here is to work towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria, because ultimately, the best solution to all of these refugee crises within that region is to get them home. - QUESTION: Right. - MR TONER: Right, yeah. - QUESTION: But in the immediate term, you now have 4 million people who have had to leave Syria because of the fighting. - MR TONER: Yeah. - QUESTION: They’re in these camps. - MR TONER: Right. But we’ve -- - QUESTION: They don’t – yeah, they don’t have the ability to -- - MR TONER: No, no, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, no. - QUESTION: -- but – and so the need to feed their families is happening right now. - MR TONER: So – right. - QUESTION: So what is the U.S. doing -- - MR TONER: Well, we’ve – sure. - QUESTION: -- to try to help fill in that funding gap because other countries haven’t been stepping up to the plate? - MR TONER: Sure. Well, important to note that we are the largest humanitarian aid donor. In terms of money given and for humanitarian assistance, I think $4 billion since 2011, which is, as I said, more than any other single donor to help address the dire humanitarian conditions in Syria. And obviously, we’re working, as I said, on – to advance the conditions towards a political settlement. That’s the ultimate endgame here, but completely understand your question and your – and concern, frankly, that we need more humanitarian assistance for the refugees that are now in Turkey and other countries. And obviously Turkey’s stepped up in a big way to welcome these refugees and to deal with them. But we are, as I said, the largest single donor in humanitarian relief to Syria. - QUESTION: Could you take the question of whether the Administration is considering another tranche of money to try to help the World Food Program with its efforts? - MR TONER: Sure, I can look into it. Yeah. - QUESTION: Thank you. - MR TONER: Yeah, please. You’re next, I saw. - QUESTION: (Inaudible) on Greece? - MR TONER: Sure. - QUESTION: Yeah. They’re having a meeting among the EU creditors on the 12th, on a Sunday, which seems to be very important meeting to strike a – decide to strike a deal with Greece or not, and the prospect of the Grexit is kind of looming now. So the two – few days ago, Treasury Secretary Lew mentioned that the financial meltdown and Greece financial situation could be a geopolitical mistake where the Greece also have stronger ties with Russia and the kind of power balance in the region could be changed. Does the department share that assessment, and is there any last-minute effort about that possibility from the Department of State? - MR TONER: Sure. Well, as you know and you mentioned, Secretary Lew has been very much involved, speaking to his counterparts in Europe, following the issues closely – as has Secretary Kerry in Vienna. We’re pleased that – to see Greece submitted a reform proposal and now its creditors are considering it. As we’ve consistently said, it’s in everyone’s interest to see Greece pursue a path that allows it to resume reforms, return to growth – all of the things that will put it on a more solid economic footing – but ultimately, it’s up to Europe and Greece to work toward a constructive outcome for these issues. So that’s where we’re at. - You said specific comments about Secretary Lew. - QUESTION: Yeah, yeah. Do you share the assessment of the Secretary Lew that the financial meltdown in Greece will be like a geopolitical mistake? - MR TONER: Well, again, I’m not – I haven’t seen those specific comments, so I’m not going to comment to them, or I’m not going to respond to them directly. What we said is that clearly, Greece is an important regional player and ally, and so it’s in all of our interests to see the current situation resolved in a way that’s positive for Europe and positive for Greece. - I’m sorry, you – I apologize. - QUESTION: That’s okay. On China, yesterday OPM announced that the hack extended to 21 million Americans. I’m wondering if anyone in the department has been in touch with your Chinese counterparts regarding the latest news on the OPM hack. - MR TONER: Not on the latest news, no. As we spoke in the Strategic & Economic Dialogue a couple weeks ago, we did talk about cyber security issues writ large. Just – I have no updates to provide to you on who was behind this breach, this data breach. That investigation’s still ongoing as far as I know. - Please. - QUESTION: Just to follow up -- - MR TONER: Yeah. - QUESTION: -- I realize China hasn’t officially been identified. Were it to come to pass that China was officially identified, what would be the process going on from there? - MR TONER: Well, that’s – that’s what they call a hypothetical, so – look, we’re not in a position to assign responsibility for this data breach yet. That’s really the FBI’s purview, and they’re investigating it and I would refer you to them. - QUESTION: Would it be treated differently if – from, say, a business hacking issue? If it’s a state-to-state issue, is that treated differently? It’s an issue of espionage, for example; is that treated differently from a commercial hacking event? - MR TONER: I would just say, more broadly speaking, that obviously, cyber security is a much more urgent issue between countries like the U.S. and China, but frankly, countries around the world, because it affects, obviously, security, but also business-to-business relationships and the investment climate – all that thing is tied into it. - But in terms of – again, I don’t want to get out in front of the investigation into this latest breach and conjecture on what might be done and how that might work. It’s just a – that’s – it’s in the FBI’s hands now. They’re investigating it and – so I’m going to stop there. - QUESTION: Can we talk about Tunisia? - MR TONER: We can talk about Tunisia. - QUESTION: First, the White House has just announced that it’s designating Tunisia as a major non-NATO ally, and I wanted to know if you had a little more insight into why the designation, why now; in practical terms, what does this mean for Tunisia? - MR TONER: Sure. I don’t. I can get you more information about it. We just heard. But this is a fulfillment, obviously – I think the President spoke about this in March or May, I’m not – do you guys have the date or no? That’s okay. We’ll get more information on that, but it just came out. - But obviously, it’s a major step forward in our relationship with Tunisia. We’re moving towards closer bilateral support for the government there and for the political process there, and including their security. - QUESTION: And speaking of security, given that in the past week the government declared a state of emergency and now the British Government has basically told all British nationals, “You need to leave, we will help you leave, get out of Tunisia now,” because of the shooting at Sousse, what assistance, one, is the United States providing to Tunisia as it tries to deal with extremists? And two, does the U.S. have an official position on Tunisia’s decision to try to build a 100-mile-long wall to prevent extremists from coming into the country? - MR TONER: So broadly speaking, first of all, to answer your question about the security issue, we – following the June 26th attacks, as you know, we issued an emergency message to U.S. citizens in Tunisia alerting them, obviously, to the attack and reminding them to exercise caution. And we continually evaluate the security situation there. - We – in terms of the broader issues of what we’re trying to provide to them for security assistance as they tackle the problem of terrorism, I can try to get you more information about what specifically we’re offering them in terms of assistance. But obviously, it’s a regional threat many of these governments are grappling with. I don’t specifically have any information about the proposal to build a wall or a fence. I have to look into that more. - But obviously, as we’ve said many times, especially in light of the spate of attacks a couple weeks ago, that these groups, ISIL affiliates, are posing a real challenge in the region, Libya as well, elsewhere. And it’s something that, as I said, all these governments are attempting to address. - QUESTION: Would you anticipate that the U.S. would tell U.S. persons to either leave Tunisia if they’re already there or to not travel there at all in line with what the British Government is doing? - MR TONER: No, I wouldn’t say that at all. Again, what – I’ve spelled out what we’ve done, and again, I wouldn’t speak to another country’s criteria or rationale for issuing travel warnings and alerts to the citizens. Certainly, there were many UK victims of the recent terrorist attack, and our condolences go out to them. But we continually assess our security posture and the security situation writ large. As we said many times, no – there’s no higher priority for us than the safety of and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad. We’ll – we did issue an emergency message, which is normally what we would do in the event of an attack or a very real and tangible threat. We have the no-double-standard rule that you’re aware of -- - QUESTION: Right. - MR TONER: -- under which information on a specific, credible threat is shared with both officials, obviously, but also with the U.S. public in that country. - QUESTION: And then in the larger context -- - MR TONER: Yep. - QUESTION: -- even though the U.S.-led coalition is engaged in military operations in only two countries – Syria and Iraq – it now seems as if nearly all of North Africa is having to deal with the threat from ISIL or ISIL sympathizers. Is there any discussion about whether the U.S. should be providing any sort of military assistance in the form of advisors, in the form of airstrikes, what have you, to countries in North Africa? I mean, we’re almost to Morocco at this point. - MR TONER: Well, I just would say no, I have nothing to announce or to – even to lean towards in that area or that specific idea or thought. I would just say that it’s obviously an urgent issue in the region and one that we’re obviously working through and talking to many of these governments about as they seek to address it. - Is that it, guys? One more? Sure. Oh, please go ahead. - QUESTION: One more, yeah. - MR TONER: One more for you and then I’ll get to you, I promise. - QUESTION: Yeah. In China – I know this came up a couple of months ago – there is a U.S. citizen who works for Radio Free Asia. He has family still in the Uighur part of western China. Three of his brothers have now been arrested. One was supposed to go on trial today. It appears that the Chinese Government is trying to make him stop reporting on human rights abuses in western China by harassing his family. What has the U.S. Government said to Beijing about the harassment of the Hoshur family, including the arrests of his three brothers? - MR TONER: So you’re talking about, if I’m correct, Radio Free Asia journalist Shohret Hoshur, and I apologize if I’m mispronouncing his name. But yes, his brothers have been detained and other family members have been harassed in apparent retribution for Mr. Hoshur’s reporting. Yeah, we’ve been following and monitoring those reports, and we’re very, very concerned. We continue to closely monitor the case and we urge Chinese authorities to cease their harassment of Mr. Hoshur and his family and release the family members who have been detained and treat them fairly and with dignity. - QUESTION: Has anyone from the embassy been called into this building to express those sentiments face to face? - MR TONER: I don’t know what, in terms of types of discussions we’ve had face to face with the Chinese, either here or in Beijing on this. I don’t. - QUESTION: What is particularly worrisome is that Mr. Hoshur is a U.S. citizen, and none of his relatives have U.S. citizenship, and it appears that he may have relinquished his Chinese citizenship. It is worrisome, as a journalist now, that if another government doesn’t like what you are doing, that they can come after your family. Has the U.S. expressed concerns to China about that? That people should be free to do whatever job they’re doing, even if it is picking up a pen and saying, “We see these problems”? - MR TONER: No, absolutely. And if I didn’t come across – if that didn’t come across in my response then I apologize. But no, absolutely we’ve said that this is – we recognize this is in apparent retribution for his reporting, and we urge the Chinese authorities to allow him to do his work and to stop the harassment of his family. - QUESTION: Thank you. - MR TONER: Yep. Please. - QUESTION: A different issue, human rights issue, it’s on North Korea? - MR TONER: Okay. - QUESTION: The South Korean foreign minister yesterday mentioned that 17 people already were executed under the Kim Jong-un leadership. And it’s another kind of remark to show how serious the human rights abuse there. So how will the U.S. deal with the human rights abuse in North Korea? Kind of – do you have the option to issue the new sanction against North Korea on the basis of human rights? - MR TONER: Well, absolutely, we agree with the assessment that human rights in North Korea remain dismal. We do have sanctions already in place to address those challenges. I don’t have anything, as I said, new to announce today or even really with regard to what we’re looking at in addition except to say that we continue to try to shine a light on the problem. - QUESTION: So could you give me that kind of prospective announcement of the new sanctions against North Korea? - MR TONER: Could I give you – I’m sorry. (Laughter.) I don’t have anything to announce today other than that. It remains, obviously, a very real and very tangible concern. - QUESTION: Thank you. - MR TONER: Yep. Is that it, guys? Good. Have a good weekend. - QUESTION: You too. - (The briefing was concluded at 2:41 p.m.)..
  • Press Releases: Designation of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally On May 21, President Obama announced his intent to designate Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally during the visit to Washington of Tunisian President Caid Essebsi. Today, the Administration announced that the designation process is complete, making Tunisia the 16th Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States. - Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status sends a strong signal of our support for Tunisia’s decision to join the world’s democracies and highlights the value the United States places in its friendship with the Tunisian Government and its people. - MNNA status is a symbol of our close relationship and comes with tangible privileges including eligibility for training, loans of equipment for cooperative research and development, and Foreign Military Financing for commercial leasing of certain defense articles...
  • Speeches: Energizing Balkan Development and Integration As prepared - Dobar Dan, Dubrovnik! - Thanks, Lara, it’s great to be back. Thanks to Minister Vesna Pusic and all our Croatian hosts for gathering us in this beautiful, historic place. Croatia has come so far since this forum began ten years ago – now a member of both NATO and the EU, today Croatia is a net exporter of regional and global security and development, from Afghanistan, to Kosovo, to West Africa. The United States is grateful for the strong alliance between our two countries. - As we sit here in this Dalmatian paradise, it is hard to believe how far the whole region has come. Just twenty years ago – a little over three hundred kilometers from here – the tragedy of Srebrenica was unfolding while the world stood by and watched. Tomorrow, we will honor the victims and remember the horrific cost of a Europe divided. But we must do more than that. Memory is not enough. We owe it to those who lost their lives in the Balkan wars to ensure that history never repeats itself – that we bury, once and for all, the hatred, criminality, greed and despotism that flourished here, and build in its place a Balkans whole, free, prosperous, and at peace. - So today, I want to appeal to leaders and citizens alike across this region to finish that job, and to resist the forces seeking to unwind the progress you have already made. That will require Balkan leaders and citizens to do three things: first, complete the democratic map of this region by finally turning the page on old hatreds and new rivalries; second, kick-start prosperity and growth by connecting the countries of the region with new roads, rail-links, ports, and energy infrastructure; and third, join forces to make the Balkans a no-go zone for today’s most pernicious threats to strong statehood and individual liberty: violent extremism, corruption and criminality, and the sleazy autocrats and oligarchs who come bearing gifts that promote their own interests, not yours. As you tackle these issues and do so together, the United States and the rest of the Trans-Atlantic community will stand with you. - Let’s start with the democratic map. The countries of this region have made great progress. Today, three Western Balkan states are NATO members, two are EU members, four have EU Stabilization and Association Agreements (SAA) in effect, one more is on the path towards one, and three more aspire to join NATO. And yet, despite all this progress, in this region, too much time is still wasted feuding instead of building. - Take Bosnia-Herzegovina. Twenty years after Dayton, it is unconscionable that the unity of the state is still publicly questioned by those seeking to block reform and putting IMF assistance at risk. The EU has offered Bosnia-Herzegovina a membership perspective, and last month activated its SAA, but politicians continue to put ethnic and party interests ahead of the basic social, economic, and political reform needed to advance. - The United States joins the EU, the IMF and the World Bank in urging Bosnia-Herzegovina’s leaders to make crucial reform decisions now, or risk being left behind for another twenty years. - Our message to Macedonia is equally tough: every opportunity for unity and prosperity awaits you; NATO and EU membership await you. But the major political forces must stop squabbling and get on the path to democratic reform sketched out by EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn with US support, and then move on to settle the name issue with Greece. Again, don’t squander this moment. - Meanwhile, with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini’s strong, patient guidance, Kosovo and Serbia are making progress in healing their past wounds and creating the arrangements to live as good neighbors. But the job is far from finished. We want 2015 to be the year that advances the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue so the EU can open chapters for Serbia and sign the SAA for Kosovo. But that will take courageous decisions in both Pristina and Belgrade. Again, together with the EU, America says: seize this moment and we will help. - It is not just governments that need to act. Civil society, independent media, and private citizens all need to make their voices heard and shape necessary reforms. They need to keep asserting their rights to freedom of expression, representation and peaceful assembly. - This brings me to the second set of challenges: regional development, integration, and energy security to promote prosperity and growth. The countries of this region will only reach their full potential when they replace old rivalries with cooperation, and embrace regional projects that bring jobs, investment and clean business practices to the whole region. - The United States strongly supports Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Berlin Process, and we have reached out to the EU to see how we can bring the International Financial Institutions, U.S. development assistance, private investment, and risk insurance to key road, rail, port, and energy projects. - We are also working closely with EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic and Energy and Climate Commissioner Arias Canete to advance crucial energy projects that will turn this region into the energy powerhouse it should be for all of Central Europe. These include investments in Krk Island LNG, key interconnectors to Hungary, Bulgaria, and Serbia, and new offshore exploration all along the Adriatic. - As we redouble our efforts to bring growth to the entire region, we must also be vigilant defenders of our democratic values. We stand for free trade, free markets, and free peoples. We gain strength when our governments are clean and serve their people. We aspire to set the global gold standard for religious and ethnic tolerance and pluralism. In everything we do, we must support the sovereign right of nations to chart their own democratic futures; we must root out the cancer of corruption that eats away at livelihoods, democracies, and security; and we must work together to halt the spread of violent extremism and foreign fighters. - Corruption remains a major impediment to progress in this region. It is the cancer that saps strength from our democracies and drives up unemployment and civil unrest. More than that, it opens vulnerabilities that autocrats, petro states, and violent extremists exploit. All those who seek to stir up trouble here find an easy gateway when dirty money can buy corrupt politicians and undercut democratic governance and the rule of law. - To improve rule of law and close space for anti-democratic forces, we are partnering with Central and Eastern Europe as a part of the Emerging Donor Challenge Fund. - In Bosnia-Herzegovina, we are supporting a network of civil society organizations in their push to implement a new whistleblower protection law, and we are partnering with Romania to train prosecutors in identifying, investigating, and trying corruption cases. - In Macedonia, we are partnering with Slovenia to train civil servants in internal auditing and financial management to increase accountability and efficiency in the public sector. - In Serbia, we are helping the government explore energy supply options to diversify energy sources, strengthen its economy, and prevent energy from becoming a weapon of political influence and corruption. - In Albania, we are partners in building a regional network to counter violent extremism, and we commend the recent regional conference in Tirana on this subject. - The issues before us – democracy, prosperity, and values-based governance – are not new. We’ve been working on them here and throughout the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe for more than two decades. But today, with severe security challenges to Europe’s south and in its East, this region sits in the balance. - Either the work of the last twenty years can be completed with wise decisions by courageous leaders and people pushing for a better life, or this region can fall prey once again to the risks, hatred, and outside interference that brought it grief so many times before. And as you make that choice, other nations with similar struggles from Tunisia to Ukraine will watch to see if you succeed, and if you can help show them how it’s done. The United States continues to stand with its partners in the Trans-Atlantic community in support of a Balkans finally whole, free, at peace and prosperous. The choices ahead are yours. - Thank you...
  • UN experts report uptick in flow of Tunisian militants to conflict zones, call for urgent response 10 July 2015 – The number of Tunisian militants flocking to join the hostilities in Syria and Iraq is one of the highest among those traveling to fight alongside extremists in the Middle East's two most dogged conflicts, the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries confirmed today. - &#8220Sophisticated travel networks operate to take recruits across the porous borders, and sometimes through areas where trafficking in people and illicit goods may not be effectively controlled,&#8221 Elzbieta Karska, the Working Group's chairperson, said in a press release. &#8220Testimony has documented that the routes taken entail travel through Libya, then Turkey and its border at Antakya, and then Syria.&#8221 - The motivational factors pushing Tunisian fighters into the arms of extremist and so-called takfiri groups are as varied as they are numerous. According to the UN experts, some are prompted by religious and political ideologies while others are lured by financial gains, a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. - In addition, the majority of the Tunisians traveling abroad appear to be young and fall within the 18 to 35 demographic range but include both men and women alike. To that point, recruiters of militants are also well-compensated for their efforts. - &#8220We were told repeatedly that many foreign fighters undertake training in Libya before going to Syria, and that the instability in Libya has fuelled a lot of the support activities for the growth, training, and travel for foreign fighters,&#8221 Ms. Karska continued. &#8220Resolution of the conflict and political impasse in that country would thus benefit Tunisia's counter-terrorism efforts considerably.&#8221 - The new information is the result of an eight-day fact-finding mission to the North African country in which Ms. Karska and her Working Group colleagues &#8211 Chile's Patricia Arias, South Africa's Anton Katz, the United States' Gabor Rona, and Yemen's Saeed Mokbil &#8211 consulted with local officials, civil society organizations and representatives from UN agencies and other international partners. - During their mission, however, the Working Group was told that the Tunisian fighters are also populating a number of conflicts beyond Syria and Iraq with up to 1,500 combatants currently in Libya, 60 in Mali and 50 in Yemen. - As a result, the experts suggested, the Tunisian Government should develop a national strategic plan with the aim of responding to the diverse profiles and recruitment methods. Moreover, they added, the plan should have an immediate, medium and long-term impact, balance punitive against social measures, and ensure the comprehensive adoption of international human rights standards in all its elements. - The Working Group experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. - Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity...
  • Denmark calls on its tourists to leave Tunisia NNA - Denmark urged its citizens who are on vacation in Tunisia to leave as soon as possible due to the high risk of another terrorist attack, following a similar recommendation by Britain."If you are in Tunisia and have no essential reason to stay the.....
  • Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos after informal Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg Morning session - security - Ladies and gentlemen, - Let me begin by wishing the Luxembourgish Presidency very good luck in the work ahead. - The challenges in relation to security cannot be underestimated. We cannot exclude new threats or new terrorist attacks. - What happened last month in France, Tunisia and Kuwait underlines the necessity to remain vigilant and determined. - I am confident that together with Etienne Schneider and the other Ministers we will achieve a lot in the coming 6 months in order to allow citizens to live in a secure environment. Because the challenges we face are not limited within national borders. Cooperation, therefore, is the only way to achieve the necessary level of security in Europe. - This morning our discussions focused on two specific issues: cyber-crime and cyber-security, as well as intelligence sharing to counter terrorism. - In the Commission's European Agenda on Security, we identified cybercrime as one of our main priorities and we set out a number of concrete actions to combat it. - First of all, we need better reporting and information exchange on cyberattacks and their perpetrators. - The Network and Information Security Directive, once adopted, will improve significantly EU cooperation in this area. - For example requiring companies in critical sectors – such as energy, transport, banking and health – to adopt risk management practices and report major incidents, will be a major step forward. - Europol already coordinates effective operations to fight criminals responsible for cyber-attacks and scam campaigns. - Last month, a joint international operation coordinated by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Eurojust led to the dismantling of a group of cybercriminals active in Italy, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Georgia, and the arrest of 49 people suspected of committing financial fraud and email account intrusions. - Moreover, on the 1st of July, Europol launched the Internet Referral Unit (IRU). This Unit, which will become fully operational in the next 12 months, will support Member States in identifying and removing online terrorist material. - It is also essential to have strong public-private cooperation in the field of security. - To this end, the Commission will establish an Internet Forum that will bring together Member States and Internet Service Providers. The aim is to reduce the accessibility of online terrorist material and to counter the terrorist narrative and propaganda. - Workshops and preparatory meetings are already taking place and, at the same time, I am planning to travel to California in September with the aim of preparing the launch of the Forum in December. - We have to make sure that important actors from the industry will do their fair share to protect citizens and make the Internet a safer place. - I also discussed with the Ministers the issue of intelligence sharing to counter terrorism. Although a national competence, the European Commission and the EU Agencies can play a crucial role in supporting Member States and facilitating information exchange among EU actors. - At European level we need to continue to increase cooperation and intelligence sharing between national authorities. - The European Commission has defined a counter-terrorism strategy based on increased cooperation, which is at the heart of the European Agenda on Security. - We already have in place agencies, like Europol, Eurojust, EU INTCEN and FRONTEX, which share intelligence. - Their professionalism and dedication is not always in the media headlines and should not be for obvious reasons. But their work is crucial. - The Commission also supports the European Counter-Terrorism Centre at Europol for information exchange and data-matching. - Increased cooperation also depends on the better use of all available tools – like the Schengen Information System (SIS), which is showing a significant increase in the number of alerts. - I would also like to mention the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which allows Member States to exchange, simply and swiftly, information on past criminal convictions. - To date over 100,000 messages per month are sent via ECRIS. - Moreover, the Commission – but more importantly the Council and the European Parliament - are committed to reaching an agreement on EU PNR, which can offer Member States significant added-value to their security on flights. - Ladies and gentlemen, - The challenges we face today go well beyond the response capacities of any single Member State. - So, we have no other choice. We must work together. We must cooperate. - Effective cooperation between the Member States, the EU institutions and the EU Agencies is the key to improve Europe's security while upholding our essential freedoms and values. - Thank you - Afternoon session - migration - Ladies and gentlemen, - First of all, I would like to thank my good friend Jean Asselborn for the great cooperation and to offer my warmest wishes for the Luxembourgish Presidency, which will surely be excellent. ALLES GUDDES! - Luxembourg's great experience and longstanding European conviction is already evident in our work. - The Presidency already demonstrated great motivation and commitment to find practical solutions to the challenges of migration. - In the last weeks, the Commission and the Council have worked hand-in-hand to develop together solutions based on the European Agenda on Migration. - The Agenda is widely recognised and accepted as a comprehensive package that will determine Europe's migration policy for the months and years to come. - Two weeks ago, the European Council welcomed the European Agenda on Migration and agreed to relocate and resettle a total of 60,000 people in need of international protection. - Now it was now up to the Member States to put solidarity in practice. - While we had very constructive discussions at political level over the past few days and this afternoon - we made progress especially on resettlement - we are not there yet. - We are expecting Member States to make additional efforts to jointly relocate and resettle 60,000 in clear need of international protection. - Member States have committed to finalise this before the end of July and we will see each other again on 20 July in Brussels. - For the Commission, it is essential to reach the overall targets set by the European Council: 40,000 applicants to be relocated and 20,000 refugees to be resettled over the next two years. - To achieve this objective, the Commission will provide the appropriate financial support: - - an extra amount of €240 million for the relocation scheme, which will be made available to Member States through a lump sum of €6000 per relocated applicant. - - For the resettlement scheme, the EU is making available an extra €50 million in 2015-2016, which, together with the existing funds, add up to €227 million for resettlement. - In operational terms, we are mobilising our Agencies not only to prepare and actively assist with the implementation of the relocation scheme; we are also mobilising them to put in practice the "hotspot teams" in Italy and Greece. - Significant progress has been made in developing and implementing the ‘hotspot’ approach, ensuring that frontline Member States are given rapid support by our Agencies, particularly Frontex, EASO, Europol and Eurojust. - As I said several times before, relocation and resettlement are part of a broader strategy of the European Union to better manage migration in all aspects. - Fighting migrant smuggling, better identifying the migrants and ensuring the return of those that have no right to stay on EU territory, are also among our top priorities. - As requested by the European Council, we are working tirelessly on these issues. - That is why today, we also discussed the Action Plan against migrant smuggling. - We intend to step-up financial investigations in order to identify, seize and recover criminal assets in order to weaken the criminal networks of smugglers and their businesses. - Dear friends, - The progress we have achieved on migration over the past few months and especially today is - allow me to say - impressive. - Europe finally took the lead. - We will continue to move forward and implement fully the European Agenda on Migration. - We will do our outmost to manage migration better. - Thank you...
  • Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos after informal Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg Morning session - security - Ladies and gentlemen, - Let me begin by wishing the Luxembourgish Presidency very good luck in the work ahead. - The challenges in relation to security cannot be underestimated. We cannot exclude new threats or new terrorist attacks. - What happened last month in France, Tunisia and Kuwait underlines the necessity to remain vigilant and determined. - I am confident that together with Etienne Schneider and the other Ministers we will achieve a lot in the coming 6 months in order to allow citizens to live in a secure environment. Because the challenges we face are not limited within national borders. Cooperation, therefore, is the only way to achieve the necessary level of security in Europe. - This morning our discussions focused on two specific issues: cyber-crime and cyber-security, as well as intelligence sharing to counter terrorism. - In the Commission's European Agenda on Security, we identified cybercrime as one of our main priorities and we set out a number of concrete actions to combat it. - First of all, we need better reporting and information exchange on cyberattacks and their perpetrators. - The Network and Information Security Directive, once adopted, will improve significantly EU cooperation in this area. - For example requiring companies in critical sectors – such as energy, transport, banking and health – to adopt risk management practices and report major incidents, will be a major step forward. - Europol already coordinates effective operations to fight criminals responsible for cyber-attacks and scam campaigns. - Last month, a joint international operation coordinated by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Eurojust led to the dismantling of a group of cybercriminals active in Italy, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Georgia, and the arrest of 49 people suspected of committing financial fraud and email account intrusions. - Moreover, on the 1st of July, Europol launched the Internet Referral Unit (IRU). This Unit, which will become fully operational in the next 12 months, will support Member States in identifying and removing online terrorist material. - It is also essential to have strong public-private cooperation in the field of security. - To this end, the Commission will establish an Internet Forum that will bring together Member States and Internet Service Providers. The aim is to reduce the accessibility of online terrorist material and to counter the terrorist narrative and propaganda. - Workshops and preparatory meetings are already taking place and, at the same time, I am planning to travel to California in September with the aim of preparing the launch of the Forum in December. - We have to make sure that important actors from the industry will do their fair share to protect citizens and make the Internet a safer place. - I also discussed with the Ministers the issue of intelligence sharing to counter terrorism. Although a national competence, the European Commission and the EU Agencies can play a crucial role in supporting Member States and facilitating information exchange among EU actors. - At European level we need to continue to increase cooperation and intelligence sharing between national authorities. - The European Commission has defined a counter-terrorism strategy based on increased cooperation, which is at the heart of the European Agenda on Security. - We already have in place agencies, like Europol, Eurojust, EU INTCEN and FRONTEX, which share intelligence. - Their professionalism and dedication is not always in the media headlines and should not be for obvious reasons. But their work is crucial. - The Commission also supports the European Counter-Terrorism Centre at Europol for information exchange and data-matching. - Increased cooperation also depends on the better use of all available tools – like the Schengen Information System (SIS), which is showing a significant increase in the number of alerts. - I would also like to mention the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which allows Member States to exchange, simply and swiftly, information on past criminal convictions. - To date over 100,000 messages per month are sent via ECRIS. - Moreover, the Commission – but more importantly the Council and the European Parliament - are committed to reaching an agreement on EU PNR, which can offer Member States significant added-value to their security on flights. - Ladies and gentlemen, - The challenges we face today go well beyond the response capacities of any single Member State. - So, we have no other choice. We must work together. We must cooperate. - Effective cooperation between the Member States, the EU institutions and the EU Agencies is the key to improve Europe's security while upholding our essential freedoms and values. - Thank you - Afternoon session - migration - Ladies and gentlemen, - First of all, I would like to thank my good friend Jean Asselborn for the great cooperation and to offer my warmest wishes for the Luxembourgish Presidency, which will surely be excellent. ALLES GUDDES! - Luxembourg's great experience and longstanding European conviction is already evident in our work. - The Presidency already demonstrated great motivation and commitment to find practical solutions to the challenges of migration. - In the last weeks, the Commission and the Council have worked hand-in-hand to develop together solutions based on the European Agenda on Migration. - The Agenda is widely recognised and accepted as a comprehensive package that will determine Europe's migration policy for the months and years to come. - Two weeks ago, the European Council welcomed the European Agenda on Migration and agreed to relocate and resettle a total of 60,000 people in need of international protection. - Now it was now up to the Member States to put solidarity in practice. - While we had very constructive discussions at political level over the past few days and this afternoon - we made progress especially on resettlement - we are not there yet. - We are expecting Member States to make additional efforts to jointly relocate and resettle 60,000 in clear need of international protection. - Member States have committed to finalise this before the end of July and we will see each other again on 20 July in Brussels. - For the Commission, it is essential to reach the overall targets set by the European Council: 40,000 applicants to be relocated and 20,000 refugees to be resettled over the next two years. - To achieve this objective, the Commission will provide the appropriate financial support: - - an extra amount of €240 million for the relocation scheme, which will be made available to Member States through a lump sum of €6000 per relocated applicant. - - For the resettlement scheme, the EU is making available an extra €50 million in 2015-2016, which, together with the existing funds, add up to €227 million for resettlement. - In operational terms, we are mobilising our Agencies not only to prepare and actively assist with the implementation of the relocation scheme; we are also mobilising them to put in practice the "hotspot teams" in Italy and Greece. - Significant progress has been made in developing and implementing the ‘hotspot’ approach, ensuring that frontline Member States are given rapid support by our Agencies, particularly Frontex, EASO, Europol and Eurojust. - As I said several times before, relocation and resettlement are part of a broader strategy of the European Union to better manage migration in all aspects. - Fighting migrant smuggling, better identifying the migrants and ensuring the return of those that have no right to stay on EU territory, are also among our top priorities. - As requested by the European Council, we are working tirelessly on these issues. - That is why today, we also discussed the Action Plan against migrant smuggling. - We intend to step-up financial investigations in order to identify, seize and recover criminal assets in order to weaken the criminal networks of smugglers and their businesses. - Dear friends, - The progress we have achieved on migration over the past few months and especially today is - allow me to say - impressive. - Europe finally took the lead. - We will continue to move forward and implement fully the European Agenda on Migration. - We will do our outmost to manage migration better. - Thank you...
  • APR Energy ajoute 108 MW à ses contrats de production d’électricité en Afrique JACKSONVILLE, Floride, 9 juillet 2015 /PRNewswire – APR Energy plc (LSE : APR), premier fournisseur mondial d’électricité rapide par turbines mobiles, a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’elle avait élargi et étendu sa solution provisoire de production électrique pour la Société nationale d’électricité du Sénégal (Senelec), l’entreprise nationale de distribution d’électricité du Sénégal. Le cahier des charges comprend l’installation […]..
  • FAO GIEWS Country Brief on Tunisia (08-July-2015) Reference Date: 08-July-2015 - FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT - Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015 - Relatively stable domestic grain prices observed - Economic growth slows down again; high unemployment rates, in particular among young people, remains a concern - Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015 - The 2015 winter grain harvest in Tunisia concluded at the end of June. Although favourable weather conditions prevailed for the most part of the season, excessively hot weather (up to 45 degrees Celsius) affected the region in early May 2015. Heat-related damages to late developing wheat in early grain-filling stages were reported. - Preliminary estimates of the 2015 cereal production point to a well below-average harvest of 1.4 million tonnes. At this level, the crop is almost 40 percent lower than last year’s above-average crop and some 25 percent below the previous five-year average. Most of the grain produced is wheat which in 2015, at about 1.1 million tonnes recorded a decrease of over 37 percent compared to last year’s above-average harvest. In Tunisia crop production varies markedly from year to year depending on the significant rainfall variations. Irrigated wheat area represents less than 15 percent of the total wheat area planted. - Tunisia relies heavily on grain imports, mainly wheat, even in good production years. Accordingly, cereal import requirements in the current 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are put at about 3.9 million tonnes, about 33 percent higher than last year and 30 percent higher than the five‑year average. - Domestic grain prices stable but some increases observed in rate of inflation - In spite of the country’s high import dependency rate, changes in international grain prices do not translate into changes in domestic prices, mainly due to Government subsidies on basic food items. Prices of wheat products, the main staple in the country, are relatively stable, as reflected by the very low inflation of bread and cereals (less than 3 percent on a yearly basis since January 2012). Overall, the food and beverage Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May 2015 recorded 7.5 percent on a year-on-year basis, about the same as last year. - Economic growth slows down again, unemployment rate remains high - The economy was slowly recovering from the 1.8 percent contraction in 2011, reaching about a 2.3 percent growth in 2014. Recent terrorist attacks and their negative impact on the economy, in general, and the hard currency earnings in particular together with the slow recovery in the European Union (Tunisia’s main trading partner) contributed to a weak growth of about 1.8 percent in 2015. - The unemployment rate remains at a high level (15.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, a slight decrease from the 19 percent in 2011). Youth unemployment (15‑29 year-olds) remains particularly high reaching over 30 percent in 2012...
  • FAO GIEWS Country Brief on Tunisia (08-July-2015) Reference Date: 08-July-2015 - FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT - Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015 - Relatively stable domestic grain prices observed - Economic growth slows down again; high unemployment rates, in particular among young people, remains a concern - Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015 - The 2015 winter grain harvest in Tunisia concluded at the end of June. Although favourable weather conditions prevailed for the most part of the season, excessively hot weather (up to 45 degrees Celsius) affected the region in early May 2015. Heat-related damages to late developing wheat in early grain-filling stages were reported. - Preliminary estimates of the 2015 cereal production point to a well below-average harvest of 1.4 million tonnes. At this level, the crop is almost 40 percent lower than last year’s above-average crop and some 25 percent below the previous five-year average. Most of the grain produced is wheat which in 2015, at about 1.1 million tonnes recorded a decrease of over 37 percent compared to last year’s above-average harvest. In Tunisia crop production varies markedly from year to year depending on the significant rainfall variations. Irrigated wheat area represents less than 15 percent of the total wheat area planted. - Tunisia relies heavily on grain imports, mainly wheat, even in good production years. Accordingly, cereal import requirements in the current 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are put at about 3.9 million tonnes, about 33 percent higher than last year and 30 percent higher than the five‑year average. - Domestic grain prices stable but some increases observed in rate of inflation - In spite of the country’s high import dependency rate, changes in international grain prices do not translate into changes in domestic prices, mainly due to Government subsidies on basic food items. Prices of wheat products, the main staple in the country, are relatively stable, as reflected by the very low inflation of bread and cereals (less than 3 percent on a yearly basis since January 2012). Overall, the food and beverage Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May 2015 recorded 7.5 percent on a year-on-year basis, about the same as last year. - Economic growth slows down again, unemployment rate remains high - The economy was slowly recovering from the 1.8 percent contraction in 2011, reaching about a 2.3 percent growth in 2014. Recent terrorist attacks and their negative impact on the economy, in general, and the hard currency earnings in particular together with the slow recovery in the European Union (Tunisia’s main trading partner) contributed to a weak growth of about 1.8 percent in 2015. - The unemployment rate remains at a high level (15.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, a slight decrease from the 19 percent in 2011). Youth unemployment (15‑29 year-olds) remains particularly high reaching over 30 percent in 2012...
  • APR Energy Extends and Expands 108MW of Power Generation Contracts in Africa JACKSONVILLE, Florida, July 9, 2015 / PRNewswire – APR Energy plc (LSE: APR), a global leader in fast-track power solutions, today announces that it has extended and expanded its interim power solution for Societe Nationale d’Électricite du Senegal (Senelec), Senegal’s national electric utility. The requirements include installation and operation of an additional 48MW of mobile diesel-powered […]..
  • EU must step up support to Tunisia 08/07/2015 - In the wake of the recent terrorist attack on holidaymakers in Sousse, French GUE/NGL MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat called for urgent support for Tunisia in the European Parliament this afternoon. - Marie Christine Vergiat commented: "Horror has struck Tunisia once again, three months after the attack on the Bardo museum. The target was one of the most emblematic tourist spots in this small country of 10 million people for which tourism is a major sector of the economy: 14% of national employment depends on it. It is also emblematic because Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began, has continued its democratic transition at all costs." - She continued: "The terrorists are desperate to make this transition fail. They do not strike randomly. Therefore our solidarity should be faultless. Tunisia needs our help in the fight against terrorism, but we must be careful not to undermine the revolution's fragile democratic gains and we should be massively supporting its economy to provide opportunities for young people." - She said that Tunisia had so far received too little so-called aid, which has only aggravated its debt. "The social crisis is growing, fuelling despair," she warned. - MEP Vergiat concluded: "It's time for us to rise to thischallenge, to put the negotiations on a new and level footing, as much for free trade as for mobility agreements, by addressing the issue of debt restructuring (or a moratorium on debt), by developing regional cooperation, by setting up a real partnership in the interest of the Tunisian people and not of European companies. Helping Tunisia should be a matter of great priority and great urgency." - Intervention de l'eurodéputée Marie-Christine Vergiat sur l'aide UE à la Tunisie - L'horreur a une nouvelle fois frappé en Tunisie, à Sousse, trois mois après l'attaque du Bardo. La cible: des lieux touristiques emblématiques dans ce petit pays de 10 millions d'habitants pour lequel le tourisme est un véritable poumon: 14% de l'emploi national en dépend. - Emblématique aussi car la Tunisie, où a démarré le printemps arabe, a poursuivi coûte que coûte sa transition démocratique. - Les terroristes veulent à tout prix la faire échouer. Ils ne frappent pas au hasard. Notre solidarité devrait donc être sans faille. - C'est loin d'être le cas. La Tunisie a besoin de notre aide dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme, mais en veillant à ne pas mettre en cause les fragiles bénéfices démocratiques de la révolution et surtout en soutenant massivement son économie pour donner des perspectives à la jeunesse. - Oui, jusqu'à présent, la Tunisie a reçu trop peu même des soi-disant aides qui n'ont fait qu'aggraver son endettement. La crise sociale se creuse, alimentant le désespoir. Les frontières restent fermées. - Il est temps d'être à la hauteur, de mettre à plat les négociations sur de nouvelles bases, des accords, tant de libre-échange que de mobilité, en abordant la question de la restructuration de la dette [de son moratoire] en développant la coopération régionale, en mettant en place un réel partenariat dans l'intérêt du peuple tunisien et non des entreprises européennes. - Aider la Tunisie doit être une priorité, une urgence. - GUE/NGL Press Contact: - Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20 - Related MEPs - Related delegations..
  • Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the June European Council and the situation in Greece I would first like to wish the Luxembourg presidency all the best. There is a very challenging six months ahead and I look forward to the closest co-operation possible. Knowing Prime Minister Bettel I am sure that he will do an excellent job. - We meet at a unique and difficult time for Europe, and for our economic and monetary union. Before I discuss the Special Euro Summits of last night and in June, I will report briefly on the key outcomes of the June European Council. - Leaders discussed how to support front-line EU countries under the greatest migratory pressure. We agreed on the relocation and resettlement of 60,000 refugees over the next two years. For clarity, the scheme will complement existing national efforts, with European Union countries now receiving 600,000 asylum applications per year. Yes, the discussion was difficult and at times divisive. To my mind, it was the first time European leaders have had such an honest exchange on the refugee question. The European Council chose to keep to the voluntary approach agreed at the Special European Council in April. There is a balance to be struck between national sovereignty and action at European level in this matter. - Now we have an agreement with which we can work, and on which we can build. The Luxembourg Presidency is receiving voluntary pledges from member states on both relocation and resettlement. Based on progress so far, we hope that the numbers agreed at the European Council will be reached. - In light of the ongoing emergency, leaders also agreed that the European Union will assist in setting up 'first reception' facilities in front-line states to ensure swift registration of irregular arrivals. Meanwhile, the Commission will accelerate talks with countries of origin and transit on readmission to strengthen our returns policy. These will be on the basis of the 'more for more principle' in related areas such as development aid. - The British Prime Minister confirmed his government's intention to hold a referendum on membership by 2017. Talks on UK renegotiation will now get underway. It was the first step in a longer process that will also end at the European Council. We will come back to this in December. - NATO's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg discussed with us the new security threats facing Europe, just as we learned of the latest terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France. In the context of international terrorism and other security challenges, leaders tasked the High Representative to prepare a new European Union strategy on foreign and security policy for June next year. We also agreed to use EU funding to support collective efforts to invest in the future of European defence. - Finally, we discussed economic matters, most notably the report on completing economic and monetary union, published on June 22nd. The report makes clear that the priority to build a deeper monetary union is reform at the national level. We best address the structural weaknesses of the eurozone by confronting the weaknesses of its national economies. - Leaders also highlighted the importance of building a digital single market and noted the Commission's new work plan in this respect. Given the central role of the digital economy in job creation and growth, the European Council was absolutely clear that this area is now a top priority. The future co-operation of the European Parliament is vital to achieve this goal. - Two weeks ago, I called a Euro Summit on June 22nd to help break the impasse in negotiations on financial assistance to Greece and to ensure that all leaders were on the same political page. Over the next days, leaders asked the Eurogroup to accelerate discussions on a last minute proposal by Greece. We believed a deal was achievable then. - Two weeks later, there is now a race against time to re-build trust. I will not discuss the rights and the wrongs of the Greek referendum. Everyone has their own perceptions. It is necessary at this stage to move on. Let bygones be bygones. - At the Euro Summit last night, leaders had a frank and honest exchange about the difficult situation now before us. We asked Prime Minister Tsipras to present his government's ideas for sustainable growth and prosperity in Greece. The Eurogroup will now consider the detail of Greece's request for a programme under the ESM Treaty. Clarifications will be needed in the coming days and these should be provided as quickly as possible. - All sides of the negotiations share the responsibility for the current status quo. I call on all leaders to try to find consensus ­that can be our common success with no losers or winners. If this does not happen, it will mean the end of the negotiations with all the possible consequences, including the worst-case scenario, where everyone will lose. Our inability to find agreement may lead to the bankruptcy of Greece and the insolvency of its banking system. And for sure, it will be most painful for the Greek people. I have no doubt that this will affect Europe, also in the geopolitical sense. If someone has any illusion that it will not be so, they are naïve. - The stark reality is that we have only four days left to find ultimate agreement. Until now, I have avoided talking about deadlines. But I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week. All of us are responsible for the crisis and all of us have a responsibility to resolve it. - As Plutarch once said: "To find fault is easy, to do better may be difficult." I hope doing better is not so difficult as Plutarch once thought. Let us prove him wrong. Thank you...
  • Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the June European Council and the situation in Greece I would first like to wish the Luxembourg presidency all the best. There is a very challenging six months ahead and I look forward to the closest co-operation possible. Knowing Prime Minister Bettel I am sure that he will do an excellent job. - We meet at a unique and difficult time for Europe, and for our economic and monetary union. Before I discuss the Special Euro Summits of last night and in June, I will report briefly on the key outcomes of the June European Council. - Leaders discussed how to support front-line EU countries under the greatest migratory pressure. We agreed on the relocation and resettlement of 60,000 refugees over the next two years. For clarity, the scheme will complement existing national efforts, with European Union countries now receiving 600,000 asylum applications per year. Yes, the discussion was difficult and at times divisive. To my mind, it was the first time European leaders have had such an honest exchange on the refugee question. The European Council chose to keep to the voluntary approach agreed at the Special European Council in April. There is a balance to be struck between national sovereignty and action at European level in this matter. - Now we have an agreement with which we can work, and on which we can build. The Luxembourg Presidency is receiving voluntary pledges from member states on both relocation and resettlement. Based on progress so far, we hope that the numbers agreed at the European Council will be reached. - In light of the ongoing emergency, leaders also agreed that the European Union will assist in setting up 'first reception' facilities in front-line states to ensure swift registration of irregular arrivals. Meanwhile, the Commission will accelerate talks with countries of origin and transit on readmission to strengthen our returns policy. These will be on the basis of the 'more for more principle' in related areas such as development aid. - The British Prime Minister confirmed his government's intention to hold a referendum on membership by 2017. Talks on UK renegotiation will now get underway. It was the first step in a longer process that will also end at the European Council. We will come back to this in December. - NATO's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg discussed with us the new security threats facing Europe, just as we learned of the latest terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France. In the context of international terrorism and other security challenges, leaders tasked the High Representative to prepare a new European Union strategy on foreign and security policy for June next year. We also agreed to use EU funding to support collective efforts to invest in the future of European defence. - Finally, we discussed economic matters, most notably the report on completing economic and monetary union, published on June 22nd. The report makes clear that the priority to build a deeper monetary union is reform at the national level. We best address the structural weaknesses of the eurozone by confronting the weaknesses of its national economies. - Leaders also highlighted the importance of building a digital single market and noted the Commission's new work plan in this respect. Given the central role of the digital economy in job creation and growth, the European Council was absolutely clear that this area is now a top priority. The future co-operation of the European Parliament is vital to achieve this goal. - Two weeks ago, I called a Euro Summit on June 22nd to help break the impasse in negotiations on financial assistance to Greece and to ensure that all leaders were on the same political page. Over the next days, leaders asked the Eurogroup to accelerate discussions on a last minute proposal by Greece. We believed a deal was achievable then. - Two weeks later, there is now a race against time to re-build trust. I will not discuss the rights and the wrongs of the Greek referendum. Everyone has their own perceptions. It is necessary at this stage to move on. Let bygones be bygones. - At the Euro Summit last night, leaders had a frank and honest exchange about the difficult situation now before us. We asked Prime Minister Tsipras to present his government's ideas for sustainable growth and prosperity in Greece. The Eurogroup will now consider the detail of Greece's request for a programme under the ESM Treaty. Clarifications will be needed in the coming days and these should be provided as quickly as possible. - All sides of the negotiations share the responsibility for the current status quo. I call on all leaders to try to find consensus ­that can be our common success with no losers or winners. If this does not happen, it will mean the end of the negotiations with all the possible consequences, including the worst-case scenario, where everyone will lose. Our inability to find agreement may lead to the bankruptcy of Greece and the insolvency of its banking system. And for sure, it will be most painful for the Greek people. I have no doubt that this will affect Europe, also in the geopolitical sense. If someone has any illusion that it will not be so, they are naïve. - The stark reality is that we have only four days left to find ultimate agreement. Until now, I have avoided talking about deadlines. But I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week. All of us are responsible for the crisis and all of us have a responsibility to resolve it. - As Plutarch once said: "To find fault is easy, to do better may be difficult." I hope doing better is not so difficult as Plutarch once thought. Let us prove him wrong. Thank you...
  • Backgrounder - The Glasgow-Burchell Declaration and Student Mobility Agreement The Glasgow-Burchell Declaration - The joint declaration has been named the Glasgow-Burchell Declaration in reference to the first exchange of high commissioners between Canada and Australia in 1939. On the brink of World War II, the need for closer relations between members of the Commonwealth became a pressing issue, and Canada and Australia decided to establish formal diplomatic relations. On September 11, 1939, Canada announced the appointment of its first high commissioner to Australia, followed by Australia’s announcement of its first high commissioner the next day. Charles Burchell became Canada’s first High Commissioner to Australia while the Honourable Sir William Glasgow, a Major-General and former Australian senator, was appointed High Commissioner for Australia in Canada. - The aim of the Glasgow-Burchell Declaration between Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to strengthen operational cooperation and enhance the effectiveness of the two countries’ overseas diplomatic networks. Canada and Australia have a strong and growing record of cooperation in a wide range of areas, including development assistance, consular activities and the co-location of some of their diplomatic missions. The Declaration will help the countries work together to further identify and generate efficiencies in their respective operations. Areas for potential additional cooperation include conducting, when appropriate, joint exercises at our respective missions, especially those located in medium- to high-risk locations, and considering co-location when mutually desirable, as well as joint language training. To oversee this enhanced cooperation and monitor progress, senior officials from both countries will hold an annual dialogue. - Student Mobility Agreement - Mitacs Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 15 years. Mitacs’ Globalink Research Internships are funded by the Government of Canada (through Industry Canada), the governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and Quebec’s Fonds de recherche Nature et technologies, along with Canadian universities and international partners. The Mitacs Globalink program is available to undergraduate students from Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Vietnam and now Australia. It provides participants with 12-week research internships under the supervision of a Canadian university faculty. This summer, more than 750 Globalink interns are conducting research at more than 50 Canadian campuses. - The student mobility agreement between Mitacs Canada and Universities Australia will allow Australian undergraduate students to participate in a research internship program in Canada for the first time. Under the agreement, up to 20 students per year over a three- year period may participate in the Mitacs Globalink program. The following Australian universities have agreed to support students in the pilot program: - The University of Sydney - Monash University - Queensland University of Technology - James Cook University - University of Wollongong - The University of Western Australia - Macquarie University - The University of Queensland - University of Tasmania - The agreement is part of Mitacs Globalink, a program that supports Canada’s International Education Strategy (IES) announced in January 2014. A key element of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, the IES includes funding of $20 million over three years for Mitacs Globalink...
  • Africa’s regions offer potential for development policy Consider first that the population of urban and rural areas in Africa is booming. The majority of Africa’s population is still rural and likely to remain so until the mid-2030s. In 2015, rural population in Africa accounts for 60% of the total population, compared with 20% in Latin America and 52% in Asia. In 2035 this share in Africa is projected to decrease slightly to 51%, compared with 16% in Latin America and 42% in Asia. Second, urbanisation has advanced faster than industrialisation in Africa. As a result, rural migrants to urban centres have continued to face a lack of opportunities, leading some of them to return to their rural roots. Third, Africa’s role in international trade–with a dependency on commodity exports and cheap food imports–has altered the market relations between cities and the countryside. In Asia and Europe, by contrast, the countryside supplied cities with natural resources and goods, driving structural transformation. - This complementarity between urban and rural places has not developed as well as it should in Africa. Fostering a mutually reinforcing dynamic between cities and countryside requires new thinking and bold strategies for accelerating a sustainable economic transformation. - A regional perspective is therefore paramount to better capture the emergence of the sorts of hybrid lifestyles and complex socio-economic behaviour associated with intensifying and diversifying rural-urban migration patterns and capital flows, including the diffusion of new technologies. Continued demographic growth in rural areas offers real potential, but it means that productive opportunities must be created throughout regions, and not just in urban hubs. Policies focusing mainly on moving the rural labour force to productive activities in the cities could miss out. - The right policy cocktail–the strategy–is critical. Individual policies aimed at increasing industrialisation or generating growth through services, natural resources, green energy and agriculture must be gathered together strategically, tailored locally, and customised from country to country and from region to region. - By firing on all cylinders through this approach, African economies can liberate the potential of their many regions to foster endogenous growth and accelerate a structural transformation that is well-suited to regional capacities and needs. They will enable policymakers to shift the emphasis from top-down, subsidy-based interventions used to temporarily alleviate regional inequalities to a broader approach that empowers regional competitiveness and innovation, mobilises under-tapped resources, and stimulates the emergence of new wealth and welfare enhancing activities. - Take the joint management of the Senegal River basin by Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea, which is an excellent example of how cross-border co-operation can work by producing and distributing energy, facilitating irrigation and improving navigation, with widespread regional benefits. Similarly, the W Regional Park allows Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria to maximise their natural and cultural endowments to promote tourism and value-added processing of goods made from the region’s natural resources. In addition, local products applying regional knowledge, such as dry figs or weaving from Béni Khedache in Tunisia, benefit regional heritage and create local quality jobs. - Such regionally led initiatives offer bright prospects for both urban and rural areas in Africa. “Decompartmentalising” policymaking optimises the potential of African resources, skills and people regionally and adds new momentum to the continent’s economic growth and development. - NOTE: The African Economic Outlook 2015 is a joint publication by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme, in collaboration with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development. - The full report is available at www.africaneconomicoutlook.org - ©OECD Observer July 2015..
  • Hughes Expands Managed MPLS Network for African Development Bank - Hughes builds upon long-term relationship with AfDB providing end-to-end managed WAN service GERMANTOWN, Maryland, July 7, 2015 / PRNewswire — Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the world’s leading provider of broadband satellite solutions and services and a leading provider of managed network services, today announced that it was awarded a contract by the African […]..
  • Amnesty accuses Balkans of abusing EUbound ... NNA - Amnesty International on Tuesday accused Balkan countries of mistreating migrants passing through their territories on the way to the European Union, saying people fleeing war were being "shamefully let down"."Thousands of refugees, asylum-seeker.....
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Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following her meeting…

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Prime Minister, Minister, it is a pleasure for me to welcome you back to Brussels two months after your last visit, at this particularly important, tragic time in the history of Tunisia, following the attack in Sousse. We had

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