BRUSSELS, March 22 (Reuters) – European Union governments
reached a preliminary agreement on Thursday to allow some
insurance on Iranian oil shipments before the EU’s full embargo
on Tehran’s crude starts on July 1, an EU diplomat said.
The decision, which is expected to be formally approved by
EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Friday, should make it
easier for big oil customers in Asia to import Iranian crude.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union states are set to ban Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife Asma from travel to and shopping in the EU, diplomats said, cranking up pressure on his government to end a bloody crackdown on popular unrest.
A British-born former investment banker who had once cultivated an image of a woman inspired by Western values, Asma al-Assad has become a hate figure for many Syrians. She has stood by her husband during a year-long crackdown on popular unrest in which the U.N. says at least 8,000 people have died.
BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) – Europe’s highest court
upheld on Tuesday a European Union decision to impose sanctions
on a UK-based branch of Iran’s state-owned Bank Melli as part of
EU efforts to pressure Tehran over its nuclear programme.
Europe and the United States have been imposing ever tighter
sanctions on OPEC member Iran to exert economic pressure and
force it to hold back on its nuclear programme, which they fear
is aimed at producing atomic weapons.
COPENHAGEN, March 10 (Reuters) – French foreign
minister Alain Juppe said on Saturday he was pessimistic over
the chances of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria,
after he and other EU foreign ministers discussed further
sanctions on Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The Security Council is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss
the Arab Spring uprisings at a high-level meeting that will
likely focus on the conflict in Syria.
COPENHAGEN, March 9 (Reuters) – German Foreign
Minister Guido Westerwelle urged Moscow on Friday to change its
policy towards Syria in the wake of Russia’s presidential
election and back a United Nations resolution condemning
Russia, along with China, has so far shielded Bashar
al-Assad by vetoing two U.N. resolutions backed by Arab states
and the West that aimed to force the Syrian president to halt a
crackdown on protesters and cede power.
WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS, March 6 (Reuters) – President
Barack Obama said an announcement on Tuesday of six-power talks
with Iran offered a diplomatic chance to defuse a crisis over
its nuclear programme and quiet the “drums of war”.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the
United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in
dealings with Iran, announced a fresh bid to allay suspicions
that Iran is developing nuclear weapons after weeks of
consultations with the other powers.
BRUSSELS, March 6 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
said on Tuesday the United States ‘will not countenance’ Iran
developing a nuclear weapon but pledged to take a sober approach
to dealing with Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Obama said the announcement of six-power talks with Iran
offered a diplomatic opportunity to defuse the crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Six world powers have accepted an Iranian offer for talks on its disputed nuclear program, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Tuesday, after a year’s standstill that has increased fears of a slide into a new Middle East war.
The announcement by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton came shortly after Russia called for a resumption of face-to-face dialogue as soon as possible, saying an Iranian letter last month showed it was now ready for serious negotiations.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton wrote to Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Tuesday, accepting an offer to meet to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program.
Ashton represents six powers – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – in dealings with Iran, and her offer of talks came after weeks of consultations with them.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union gave Serbia the status of candidate for membership on Thursday in an attempt to promote better government in the western Balkans as the region struggles to emerge from the wars of the 1990s.
EU leaders took the decision at a summit in Brussels, launching a potentially lengthy process to bring the former Yugoslav republic into the bloc.