We are determined to defend our common freedoms and values and we are jointly committed to drive the counter-terrorism agenda, including in the G20.
We agreed today to deepen the EU-Australia relationship which is rooted in our common interests, values and heritage.
We welcomed the finalisation of the negotiations of the EU-Australia Framework Agreement and committed to pursue its full and swift implementation. We agreed that the recent EU-Australia Framework Participation Agreement on Crisis Management is an important component of our growing Security and Defence relations.
We agreed to commence work toward the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. We believe that a FTA will support sustainable growth and investment, open up new commercial opportunities and promote innovation and employment in Australia and the EU. We will aim to achieve a comprehensive and balanced outcome that liberalises trade, promotes productive investment flows and enhances the regulatory environment for business. We agreed that discussions to define the scope and approach to the negotiations should start as soon as possible. In parallel, we agreed to take steps to seek the necessary authorisation for the negotiations on the basis of a successful scoping.
We announced the establishment of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum to be launched in 2016, as a unique platform for European and Australian leaders to nurture the future of the EU-Australia relationship.
We stressed the importance of research and innovation as drivers of growth and employment in both the EU and Australia and we reaffirmed our commitment to collaborate in this field, in particular through the EU's Horizon 2020 program and Australia’s Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council.
We discussed regional and global challenges we both face and agreed to continue working together to tackle them. The situation in Syria and Iraq remains of greatest concern. We agreed to intensify our cooperation to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation, to counter ISIL/Da'esh, and to respond to the challenge of foreign terrorist fighters. We confirmed our full support to a political solution to the conflict in Syria and to the launch of an inclusive Syrian dialogue. We reiterated the importance of parties in Libya agreeing rapidly on a Government of National Accord. We recognised the difficulties faced by the National Unity Government in Afghanistan, welcomed the progress made and urged the Government to continue its reform agenda. We confirmed our continued support to resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine and agreed that sanctions against Russia taken in response to this conflict are clearly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. We do not recognise and continue to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and remain committed to non-recognition of the illegal annexation.
The displacement and mass movement of refugees and migrants is a global concern. We agreed that international protection must be granted to those entitled to it, in line with international law. Effective management of borders and fighting against migrant smuggling networks remain essential, as well as tackling the root causes of the current migration and refugee crisis.
We reaffirmed our commitment to secure a legally binding climate change agreement applicable to all parties at COP21 in Paris. It must establish a durable platform for limiting global temperature rise to below 2°C, including through a long-term goal, accountability and transparency of contributions, and allowing for strengthening of ambition over time.