LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union made its strongest call yet for China and other Asian nations to resolve their dispute over the South China Sea, a position Brussels insists is neutral but that the United States is likely to welcome after pressing the bloc to speak up.
At a summit of EU and Asian foreign ministers, Beijing escaped any public admonishment over its construction and militarization of islands in the South China Sea but the EU’s foreign policy chief took a firm line in the bloc’s first public comments since Washington patrolled the area this month.
BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European Union and United States said on Thursday they would temporarily ease some sanctions on Belarus after its release of political prisoners and what some regard as an easing of repression in the close Russian ally.
The European Union said it will suspend its sanctions on Belarus for four months from Saturday, including those on authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, making good on its promise to reward a perceived opening up to Europe.
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for insulting Islam and for cyber crime, was awarded the European Union’s prize for human rights and freedom of thought on Thursday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey’s election on Sunday could mark a turning point in relations with the European Union, either bolstering President Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to accumulate more power or putting a check on a leader many in Europe accuse of creeping authoritarianism.
The country’s second general election in five months comes at a critical juncture for Brussels, which is dangling the prospect of a relaunch of stalled EU membership talks in front of Turkey in return for its help in dealing with the biggest migration crisis the continent has seen since World War Two.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for insulting Islam and for cyber crime, was awarded the European Union’s prize for human rights and freedom of thought on Thursday.
Badawi received the first of his 50 lashes in January, prompting strong criticism in Western countries of the kingdom’s human rights record, including its restrictive laws on political and religious expression and the status of Saudi women.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will suspend its sanctions on Belarus for four months from Saturday, including those on authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, making good on its promise to reward a perceived opening up to Europe, EU diplomats said.
Lukashenko’s pardoning of jailed political prisoners and a perceived lack of repression following the re-election this month of a man whom the United States once said runs Europe’s last “dictatorship”, had influenced the EU’s approach, diplomats said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders agreed to cooperate to manage migrants crossing the Balkans but offered no quick fix to a crisis that threatens to take more lives as winter sets in and to set Europe’s nations against one another.
Meeting in Brussels as another woman and two children died at sea off Turkey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met leaders of nine countries on the route from the Aegean to Germany taken this year by half a million people, defying EU borders and unfurling razor wire.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union faces collapse if the bloc cannot agree on a plan to confront the sudden influx of refugees through the Balkans, Slovenia’s premier warned on Sunday as leaders bickered over who was to blame for the crisis.
Nine days after Hungary’s move to seal its southern border drove unprecedented migrant flows into tiny Slovenia, Prime Minister Miro Cerar sent out a dramatic call to fellow central and eastern leaders in Brussels for emergency talks.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker will on Sunday meet with leaders from central and eastern Europe to push for a coordinated response to the influx of refugees before winter sets in.
The mini-summit, which EU diplomats said was sought by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is the latest in a series of top-level EU meetings that have so far failed to settle on a common approach on how to deal with the thousands of migrants streaming into the EU every day.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Burundi’s government will be invited to talks in Brussels to seek a solution to a political crisis in the Central African country that has killed more than 120 people, EU diplomats say, warning of a suspension of aid if talks fail.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will send a letter to President Pierre Nkurunziza early next week, setting in motion a 150-day consultation process that the European Union hopes will end the country’s worst crisis since a civil war ended in 2005.