||Arrival of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the Council
||SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (In English) saying that: (On Gaza) During our debate today we deeply regretted the loss of live from both sides. We believe the attacks must end immediately or even more innocent civilians will suffer. We are calling for an urgent de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities. In this respect we support the mediation efforts of Egypt and other parties. I have been in regular contact with a number of different people including Israeli Prime Minister, the Palestinian Prime Minister, the Arab League, Egypt, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey amongst others.
||SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (In English) saying that: We discussed the situation in Syria where we remain horrified by what's going on and concerned about the spill over to neighbouring countries. Ministers repeated their support of the joint special envoy Mr Brahimi who we met last week when we were in Cairo. We welcome the agreement to create the new opposition coalition whose leader Mr Moaz al-Khatib I met last week in Cairo as well. We have called for a long time for the opposition to unite. We consider the coalition legitimate representative of the aspirations of the Syrian people.
||SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (In English) saying that: As you know we began today with very useful meetings with defence ministers, First in the steering board of the European Defence Agency and then in the Council. We agreed on the importance of further developing our military capabilities in Europe to sustain and enhance our common security and defence policy. I therefore welcome the adoption of a code of conduct for pooling and sharing which include concrete actions to help member states mainstream pooling and sharing into their national planning.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (In English) saying that: We are also of course extremely worried by the deteriorating situation in Mali and especially the humanitarian situation which is getting worse. We remain committed to try in helping the Malian people. The Council today call on parties to agree on roadmap for a rapid political transition. This will allow us to resume development cooperation. We believe there is a need to respond quickly to security and terrorist threads within the framework to be defined by the UN Security Council.
||SOUNDBITE by Catherine Ashton (In English) saying that: We've also been following today the latest development in the Eastern DRC with concern. The M23 must immediately stop the military offenses in Eastern DRC. Any support to the M23 in violation of the sanction regime and the arms embargo should stop. Those who have influence over the rebels will make their priority to urge an immediate end to the fighting. This conflict has a huge high human cost; all parties must allow unrestricted humanitarian access to those in need.
||Catherine Ashton leaving the press room