BRUSSELS/LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The European Union’s
efforts to impose economic sanctions on Iran suffered a new
setback on Monday when a top court ruled that measures against
the Islamic Republic’s biggest cargo carrier should be lifted.
The ruling by Europe’s second-highest court follows similar
decisions in favour of some dozen Iranian companies in the last
year, which have raised alarm in Europe and the United States.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is likely to punish Croatia next week in a row over extradition rules that has marred the former Yugoslav state’s first months as a member of the European Union and may endanger EU aid for border control improvements.
The Adriatic state’s entry to the EU in July was celebrated as a mark of recovery from years of war during the bloody collapse of Yugoslavia.
VILNIUS/PARIS (Reuters) – The European Union blamed the Syrian government on Saturday for an August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria but urged waiting for a report from U.N. weapons inspectors before any U.S.-led military response.
The carefully worded message from foreign ministers of 28 EU governments stopped short of endorsing possible U.S. and French military action against Syria ahead of the report, which France’s president said could come by the end of the week.
WASHINGTON/VILNIUS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to back him in launching an attack on Syria, as diplomatic pressure grew on the United States to wait for a U.N. report expected in a week’s time before beginning military action.
Fresh from a European trip in which he failed to forge a consensus among global leaders, Obama plunged into a campaign on radio and television to try to convince a skeptical U.S. public and Congress of the need for a military strike on Syria.
VILNIUS (Reuters) – The European Union on Saturday laid the blame for an August chemical attack in Syria on the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but stopped short of explicitly supporting a military response by the West.
The carefully worded message from foreign ministers of 28 EU governments meeting in Vilnius allowed France to claim victory in its push to get the EU to agree that Assad was responsible for the attack in which more than 1,400 may have been killed.
VILNIUS (Reuters) – France, which backs military action to punish Syria for a deadly chemical weapons attack, tried to rally support from its European Union partners on Friday but met scepticism from governments wary of turning their backs on the United Nations.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius sought agreement from EU counterparts meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius that President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible for an August 21 gas attack that the United States says killed more than 1,400 people, a source close to Fabius said.
VILNIUS (Reuters) – Sweden accused Russia on Friday of waging “economic warfare” against former Soviet republics that have been considering closer trade relations with the European Union and said the EU needed a strategy to resist Moscow.
The EU is planning to take steps towards signing trade deals with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova at a summit of regional and EU leaders in November in Lithuania, and could seal a similar agreement with Ukraine.
VILNIUS (Reuters) – The European Union and Iran will discuss a resumption of nuclear negotiations during a United Nations gathering this month, possibly setting a date for a new round of talks aimed ultimately at preventing a new Middle East war.
Talks between Iran and six world powers overseen by the EU’s top diplomat have been stalled since April. The West is keen to resume them with Iran having elected a moderate president but still expanding its uranium enrichment capacity and Israel brandishing hints of bombing runs on Iranian nuclear sites.
BRUSSELS, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Belgium, centre of the global
diamond trade, is demanding that the European Union lift
sanctions on a Zimbabwean mining firm despite deep concerns
within the bloc over alleged fraud in a July election that kept
President Robert Mugabe in power.
Belgium’s call for the removal of sanctions on the state-run
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has put it at
odds with other EU countries such as Britain which is reluctant
to rush into a move that could be seen as rewarding Mugabe.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Zagreb could face legal action for failing to apply EU extradition law, the European Commission said on Monday, weeks after Croatia became the bloc’s newest member.
The small Adriatic state became the 28th member of the European Union on July 1, marking a recovery from years of war after Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s.