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Dec 18, 2013

U.N. heads, EU call for humanitarian ceasefire in Syria

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The heads of the U.N. and European Union aid agencies called on Wednesday for a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Syria to allow convoys to deliver help to areas that aid workers cannot reach.

The officials urged all sides in the Syrian war to allow free access for humanitarian groups, saying aid should not be held hostage to political or military considerations.

Dec 17, 2013

Europe set to launch drone programme

BRUSSELS/BERLIN, Dec 17 (Reuters) – After many false starts,
Europe looks ready to back plans for a drone development
programme aimed at cutting its reliance on U.S. and Israeli
rivals and bolstering its position in the industry.

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and
Friday will throw their weight behind a drive to build a
next-generation European surveillance drone by 2020 to 2025,
according to a draft communique seen by Reuters.

Dec 16, 2013

EU says door remains open to Ukraine, reassures Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union said on Monday it remained ready to sign a trade agreement with Ukraine, despite a snub by President Viktor Yanukovich, and it tried to reassure Moscow that closer EU-Ukraine relations posed no threat to Russia.

Brussels also sought to paper over apparent divisions in its approach to Ukraine, as the Dutch foreign minister slapped down a senior EU official for announcing on Twitter that he had suspended work on the trade pact.

Dec 16, 2013

EU says door remains open to Ukraine as unity cracks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Divisions emerged in the European Union’s policy towards Ukraine on Monday as the Dutch foreign minister slapped down a senior EU official for announcing on Twitter that he had suspended work on a trade agreement with Kiev.

EU foreign ministers arriving for talks on the EU’s relations with Ukraine and Russia said the door remained open for Ukraine to seal a far-reaching trade and political agreement with Brussels despite Kiev’s last-minute decision in November to pull back from signing the deal.

Dec 13, 2013

Iran angry over U.S. sanctions, nuclear talks interrupted

VIENNA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Iran’s anger over a new U.S. sanctions measure may have been behind its move to interrupt talks with world powers over how to implement last month’s breakthrough nuclear agreement, two diplomats said on Friday.

Several envoys stressed, however, that the inconclusive outcome of the December 9-12 expert-level discussions in Vienna should not be seen as a sign that the political deal hammered out nearly three weeks ago was in serious trouble.

Dec 4, 2013

Russia criticizes ‘aggressive’ Ukraine protests, NATO response

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia criticized “aggressive actions” by Ukrainian demonstrators and the Western response to the protests on Wednesday, saying outsiders should not interfere in Ukraine’s affairs.

President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision last week to spurn a trade and cooperation pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia has triggered days of mass protests.

Dec 3, 2013

Defense chief could sign Afghan pact instead of Karzai: Kerry

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s defense minister or government, instead of a reluctant President Hamid Karzai, could sign a security pact enabling some U.S. troops to stay in the country after 2014.

An assembly of Afghan elders, the Loya Jirga, last month endorsed the security deal with the United States, but Karzai said he might not sign it until after elections next April.

Dec 3, 2013

NATO urges Afghan president to sign U.S. security pact quickly

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO leaders urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday to swiftly sign a security pact that would enable some U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014, saying failure to do so could jeopardize security and foreign aid.

U.S. and NATO officials have warned that if Karzai does not sign the security deal with the United States promptly, both the United States and the alliance would have to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and abandon plans to leave behind a smaller training and advisory force.

Dec 2, 2013

NATO says Karzai failure to sign pact would end Afghan mission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO would have to pull all its troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not sign a security pact with the United States, alliance chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.

An assembly of Afghan elders, the Loya Jirga, last month endorsed the security pact intended to shape the U.S. military presence in the country beyond 2014. But Karzai said he might not sign it until after elections in April.

Nov 29, 2013

Ukraine’s Yanukovich vetoes EU push to save trade deal

VILNIUS, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Viktor
Yanukovich vetoed last-minute attempts by the European Union to
rescue a trade deal that could have been signed at a summit on
Friday and would have signalled a historic shift away from
Russia, EU diplomats said.

Under pressure from Moscow, Yanukovich abandoned plans last
week to sign the agreement, preferring closer ties with
Ukraine’s former Soviet master and dealing a blow to EU efforts
to build closer relations with its eastern neighbours.

    • About Adrian

      "I am part of Reuters UK reporting team, writing mainly about UK politics and foreign policy. My previous postings with Reuters were in Spain, Belgium, the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and South Africa."
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