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  • UNHCR says it is making contingency plans for all 400,000 inhabitants of Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani to flee in Turkey (Reuters)
  • Syria says it is ready to cooperate with any international effort to fight terrorism (statement via Reuters)
  • Syria says it will not stop fighting Islamic State in eastern Syria and other areas. (Reuters)
  • Palestinian delegation decides to proceed with Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo despite Israel’s killing of two Hamas members – senior Hamas member quoted by Reuters
  • Syria was told “hours before” air strikes that the United States and some of its allies would target Islamic State (Reuters)
  • NATO says it was not involved in US-led strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria (Reuters)
  • Russian Foreign ministry, on US-led strikes on Syria, says attempts to carry out geopolitical tasks at expenses of others’ sovereignty “destabilises the situation” (RIA news agency via Reuters)

Arriving in Brussels, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Chief, Catherine Ashton and other European foreign ministers had plenty to discuss at today’s Foreign Affairs Council Meeting.
First on the list was the conflict in Syria. British Foreign Minister William Hague was asked by journalists about reports of Israel bombing of a Syrian military research facility.
“There are great dangers from the Syrian conflict,” he told reporters, adding “either dangers of the chemical and biological weapons which we believe Syria to have, or that weapons in Syria could be moved elsewhere in the region. “
The EU is also considering whether to lift an arms embargo in order to help the opposition.
Also on the agenda for ministers is how the European Union should respond to events in Mali. It is preparing to launch a military training mission in the country and appoint a special representative.
European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said that increasing humanitarian aid in Mali is essential: “I am determined to keep Sahel firmly at the centre of our attention.” She added: “It’s a very vulnerable region. What is going on in Mali affects also the neighbourhood. “
Ministers will discuss their response to the Arab Spring, talk about relations with the US, and be joined by the Somali president.
The EU is determined that its member countries should work closely together in their foreign and defence policy to ensure security and development for the regions southern neighbours. 

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