BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey and the European Union began a new round of membership talks on Tuesday months after EU member states delayed them in protest over a Turkish crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
EU and Turkish negotiators spoke optimistically about a new momentum in Turkey’s long-stalled membership drive after they met in Brussels to begin talks on a new chapter, or policy area, of accession talks, the first opened in more than three years.
BRUSSELS/PRISTINA (Reuters) – NATO and the European Union on Monday condemned violence that took place during a weekend election in Kosovo that many had hoped would help end ethnic divisions but ended up underscoring the strength of Serb resistance instead.
Voting on Sunday in a small Serb pocket of the majority-Albanian country was halted after masked men attacked polling stations at three locations on the Serb side of the ethnically-divided town of Mitrovica, lobbing tear gas and smashing ballot boxes.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders rebuffed calls from southern European states on Friday for emergency action to tackle a wave of illegal migration from Africa despite the deaths of hundreds of people in Mediterranean boat disasters.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels expressed “deep sadness” at the drownings, which have killed up to 550 migrants this month alone, but postponed any new action until December.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO has agreed the outline of a military force it intends to keep in Afghanistan after its combat mission there ends next year, but troop numbers remain uncertain due to ongoing talks between Washington and Kabul.
NATO defense ministers endorsed a “strategic planning assessment” on Wednesday, setting out command and control arrangements and the capabilities needed for the mission that the alliance says will have a training and advisory role, U.S. and NATO officials said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO and Russia could play a role in eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles if they were asked to do so by the United Nations, said U.S., NATO and Russian officials on Wednesday.
The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons was discussed at a meeting of NATO and Russian defense ministers in Brussels, the first such meeting in two years.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany called for closer military integration between groups of NATO countries on Tuesday as the alliance grappled with how to keep its defenses strong at a time of falling military spending.
Germany’s proposal, discussed by NATO defense ministers at a Brussels meeting, is that big NATO nations act as “framework nations” leading a cluster of smaller NATO allies.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi urged Europe and the United States on Monday to press Myanmar to reform what she said was an undemocratic constitution, partly because it effectively bars women from running for president.
The Myanmar (Burmese) opposition leader, in Luxembourg to meet European Union foreign ministers, said the constitution stipulates that the president must have military experience, thus excluding women.
LUXEMBOURG/PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) – France summoned the
U.S. ambassador on Monday after a report in Le Monde newspaper
underlined the scale and breadth of alleged spying on French
citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency.
The allegations that the agency collected tens of thousands
of French phone records tested France’s relations with
Washington just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in
Paris for the start of a European tour over Syria.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union accused Turkish police on Wednesday of using excessive force to quell protests earlier this year, urging the government to strengthen oversight of the police and to press ahead with investigations into their conduct.
The criticism was contained in an annual report by the EU’s executive Commission into Turkey’s progress in meeting the requirements to join the 28-nation bloc.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union states should work together in four areas of defense technology, including developing drones, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said in a report on Tuesday.
In a report commissioned ahead of an EU summit in December, Catherine Ashton said European governments should commit to cooperative projects in drones, a new satellite communications system, cyber defense and plugging a shortfall in air tankers.