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Apr 19, 2013

EU brokers historic Kosovo deal, door opens to Serbia accession

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Serbia agreed to cede its last remaining foothold in the country’s former province of Kosovo on Friday, striking an historic accord to settle relations in exchange for talks on joining the European Union.

The deal, brokered by the EU, capped six months of delicate negotiations and marks a milestone for the region’s recovery from the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Apr 19, 2013

EU plans further economic help to Syrian rebels

BRUSSELS, April 19 (Reuters) – The European Union’s plan to
ease an oil embargo to help Syrian rebels is a “pragmatic
experiment” that could lead to further lifting of sanctions to
tilt the balance of the conflict against President Bashar
al-Assad, a senior EU official said on Friday.

Next week, EU governments will allow purchases of oil from
the opposition, as part of a broader effort to help rebels
waging a two-year uprising against Assad in which an estimated
70,000 people have died. The conflict is broadly in stalemate.

Apr 19, 2013

EU brokers historic Kosovo deal, opening door to Serbian accession

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Serbia and its former province of Kosovo struck an historic deal on Friday to settle their fraught relations, opening the door to European Union membership talks for Belgrade in a milestone for the region’s recovery from the collapse of Yugoslavia.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the prime ministers of both sides had initialled an agreement during talks in Brussels, capping six months of delicate negotiations after over a decade of deep animosity since Kosovo broke away in war.

Apr 18, 2013

EU must avoid TAP versus Nabucco squabble-energy chief

BRUSSELS, April 18 (Reuters) – EU ministers must avoid
fruitless debate over which of two rival pipeline projects is
the way to cut reliance on Russian gas and both pipelines could
be built one day, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said
in a letter seen by Reuters.

The EU executive is anxious to present a united front, while
dominant supplier Russia attempts a divide-and-rule strategy by
negotiating gas supplies with individual EU member states with
conflicting interests.

Apr 17, 2013

EU set to lift Myanmar sanctions, except on arms

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is expected to lift all sanctions on Myanmar next week, except for an arms embargo, in recognition of the “remarkable process of reform” in the country, a document seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

The EU agreed a year ago to suspend most of its sanctions against Myanmar for a year, but it is now expected to go further by agreeing “to lift all sanctions with the exception of the embargo on arms”, the document said.

Apr 17, 2013

EU to allow purchases of Syrian oil from opposition

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments are expected to ease an embargo on Syrian oil next week to allow for purchases of crude from the opposition in an effort to tilt the balance of the conflict against President Bashar al-Assad.

At a meeting on Monday, EU foreign ministers will also agree to lift restrictions on selling equipment for the oil industry to the opposition and investing in the major Arab state’s oil sector, EU diplomats said on Wednesday.

Apr 16, 2013

EU to delay Serbia report in last-ditch bid for Kosovo deal

BRUSSELS/PRISTINA (Reuters) – The European Commission was set to delay a keenly-awaited report on Tuesday on Serbia’s readiness for accession talks in an apparent last-ditch push for a deal to tackle the ethnic partition of its former province Kosovo.

A senior Kosovo official said leaders of the two countries would meet in Brussels on Wednesday, as Belgrade races to strike an accord that might salvage its chances of starting membership talks with the European Union this year.

Apr 8, 2013

West sees enough substance for Iran talks to continue

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – World powers believe there are enough grounds to keep talking to Iran about its disputed nuclear program, a senior Western diplomat said on Monday, even though the latest round of negotiations made little apparent progress.

“There is enough substance for these negotiations to continue,” the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters. “I would not expect a breakdown.”

Apr 7, 2013

Powers and Iran fail to end nuclear deadlock in Almaty

ALMATY (Reuters) – World powers and Iran failed again to end the deadlock in a decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program in talks that ended in Kazakhstan on Saturday, prolonging a standoff that could yet spiral into a new Middle East war.

No new talks were scheduled but big power negotiators, who earlier this year were insisting that time was running out, were at pains to say the diplomatic process would continue.

Apr 5, 2013

No deal in sight on final day of Iran nuclear talks

ALMATY, April 6 (Reuters) – Iran enters a second day of
talks with world powers on Saturday no closer to resolving a
nuclear dispute that has led to sanctions on its oil exports and
talk of a new Middle East war.

The final day of negotiations is unlikely to achieve more
than a willingness to keep talking, after Iran responded on
Friday to a limited offer to ease sanctions with a proposal of
its own that puzzled Western diplomats and which Russia said
raised more questions than answers.

    • About Justyna

      "Justyna covers EU foreign policy in Brussels with a focus on Balkans and Turkey, as well immigration, security and human rights in the European Union. Previously she was a bureau chief in Romania and Bulgaria, and wrote about financial markets in London and economic policy in Poland."
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