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Transatlantic unity 'never more important' in face of common challenges

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Transatlantic unity 'never more important' in face of common challenges

Kerry - Mogherini - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - Meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday, EU foreign affairs ministers highlighted the strength of the transatlantic partnership and its importance in addressing foreign and global challenges.

Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign policy chief, reiterated the importance of the relationship, stating that there is not one single issue related to foreign and security policy in which the U.S. and EU are not working closely together on a daily basis.

Ministers discussed the situation in Turkey. At the time of the attempted coup in Turkey, the EU stressed the importance of upholding the legitimacy of the institutions, and ministers continue to do so.

The ministers have underlined their concerns at any threat to fundamental freedoms. and called for the full observance of Turkey's constitutional order. In particular, the EU stressed the importance about the rule of law prevailing in the country.

However, foreign ministers did share concerns about what is happening in the country, and the need for Turkey to respect democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Ms Mogherini also underlined the strength of cooperation between the United States and the EU in the fight against terrorism.

In the aftermath of the attack in Nice, ministers discussed the fight against terrorism. They observed a minute of silence at 12.00 to pay tribute to the victims. Ministers expressed their condolences to France, expressed their solidarity and readiness to continue supporting France in the Sahel and in all external operations, also on the basis of article 42.7, as invoked by France in November 2015. They also discussed the ongoing work on counter-terrorism.

"The US and EU partnership is strong, it is enduring and it is unbreakable," said Mr Kerry, despite the result of the Brexit referendum in the UK.

At the meeting, European foreign ministers focused on the fight against terrorism. Discussions also covered the situation in Syria, Libya, Russia and Ukraine, as well as EU-US economic relations.

Ms Mogherini underlined the need for a common approach, which, she said, was the only answer. "All ministers agreed that we need to eradicate the roots of the hatred that we saw hitting Nice, Dhaka, Bagdad and other places in Europe, Africa, in the Arab world and in Asia. It's a common threat to all of us," she said.

Finally, and just a few days after the 18th EU-China summit took place in Beijing, ministers discussed China and adopted the EU strategy on China for the coming years.

Outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council, 18/07/2016

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