BRUSSELS: The European Union Thursday deplored the "outrageous" beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by Islamist jihadists calling the murder a brutal denial of "universally recognized values."
"We strongly condemn this outrageous murder," said Sebastien Brabant, spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief.
"This brutal act, like the many other human rights violations which are perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), denies universally recognized values and rights including freedom of press for which Foley risked his life several times," he said.
"Such forms of terrorism constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and the EU is more committed than ever to support international efforts to fight terrorism."
Last week, EU foreign ministers met in a rare summer meeting to coordinate the bloc's response to the jihadist onslaught in huge areas of Syria and Iraq.
At the meeting, ministers gave their unanimous approval to the arming of Iraqi Kurd forces by individual member states that wished to do so.
"The commitment of the EU is very clear" on the crisis in Iraq, Brabant said, with another meeting of foreign ministers scheduled for next week in Milan.