Senior correspondent, Brussels
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Jul 29, 2015

NATO backs Turkey on Islamic State, some urge peace with Kurds

BRUSSELS/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – NATO gave Turkey its full political support in fighting militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday but several nations urged Ankara not to undermine the Kurdish peace process by using excessive military force.

Following a 90-minute meeting in Brussels, Turkey won the backing it sought for stepping up its role in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes.

Jul 28, 2015

Turkey seeks NATO endorsement in Islamic State fight

BRUSSELS/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey sought moral support for its campaign against militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday with its North Atlantic allies, with both NATO and Ankara playing down any idea of a call for military help from the alliance.

Turkey requested urgent consultations with its 27 NATO partners in Brussels after stepping up its role in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes, also hitting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in Iraq at the weekend.

Jul 27, 2015

EU steps up PR campaign to overcome U.S. trade deal hostility

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – In early 2013, President Barack Obama’s call for a U.S.-EU trade deal generated such optimism in Europe that the graffiti “NO TAFTA, NO TTIP” scrawled under a bridge near the EU headquarters in Brussels was an isolated message of dissent.

More than two years on, with the graffiti still there, European officials are ruing their failure to spot early signs of opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), also known unofficially as the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).

Jul 24, 2015

Belgium arrests two ex-Guantanamo inmates on terrorism charges

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium has arrested two former detainees of Guantanamo prison on charges of terrorism, saying the men are suspected of seeking recruits to fight in Syria, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

The two men, who were held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval base in Cuba between 2001 and 2005, were under police surveillance and were arrested in the early hours of Thursday in the Belgian city of Antwerp along with three others.

Jul 23, 2015

Europe readying sanctions against Burundians over election

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is ready to impose sanctions on Burundians failing to help end the Central African nation’s crisis, the EU’s foreign policy chief said on Thursday, following elections that Brussels and Washington say were not credible.

Facing its worst political crisis since the end of civil war in 2005, Burundi is awaiting the results of Tuesday’s vote in which President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term, breaking the two-term limit agreed in a peace deal a decade ago.

Jul 20, 2015

EU countries fail to meet targets to take in migrants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union failed on Monday to agree on how to spread 40,000 asylum seekers in Greece and Italy among its members over the next two years, postponing the decision until the end of the year.

Following the deaths of 700 people on a fishing boat heading for Italy from Libya in April, EU leaders called at a summit in June for agreement on the relocation by the end of July – a potentially divisive move in some countries where far-right parties and populist anti EU movements are gaining ground.

Jul 20, 2015

Inspired by Iran deal, EU seeks coalition to revive Mideast peace push

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Inspired by Europe’s role in a nuclear deal with Iran, the European Union wants to form a broader, U.N.-backed coalition to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Taking up a French proposal, EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to try to create an “international support group” more than a year after the collapse of a U.S.-brokered peace push envisaging a Palestinian state co-existing with Israel. The EU wants to open the door to more countries to get involved.

Jul 20, 2015

Exclusive – Europe to hit Libyans with sanctions over peace impasse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is preparing sanctions against five Libyans accused of blocking a U.N.-backed peace deal, Western diplomats told Reuters on Monday, after EU foreign ministers agreed to pressure all sides to negotiate.

Three senior militants who have threatened violence against any future unity government, as well as two military leaders who say their faction cannot abide by any accord, will be hit with EU travel bans and asset freezes unless they change their position, diplomats said.

Jul 20, 2015

Europe threatens sanctions on Libyans over peace impasse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is considering sanctions against Libya’s warring factions who fail to agree to a U.N.-sponsored peace deal after one group controlling the capital Tripoli refused to sign up this month.

The European Union says a U.N-backed deal is the only way to end the war between rival governments vying for power in the oil producer four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

Jul 20, 2015

EU countries seek agreement on coping with flood of migrants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will try to reach an agreement on Monday to tackle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean despite resistance from Spain and Poland, who say they are not ready to absorb large numbers of new asylum seekers.

Following the deaths of some 700 people on a fishing boat heading for Italy from Libya in April, the European Commission, the EU’s executive, has proposed a plan to keep more migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing. But it faces objections from EU governments dealing with anti-immigrant parties at home.

    • About Robin

      "Robin is a Brussels-based correspondent covering Europe's debt crisis, and editor of the euro zone page on He joined Reuters from the Financial Times in Mexico City in 2002, moving to Panama City and then to Lima, Peru, before heading back to Mexico to cover the U.S.-Mexico border. He led the drugs war coverage that was nominated for an Overseas Press Club award in the United States in 2010. Robin started out in Amsterdam at Dutch financial daily Het Financeele Dagblad as an English-language staffer."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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