Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
Sep 5, 2015

Europe’s cordial diplomacy breaks down over migrant crisis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – As European foreign ministers stepped out of their black cars for a weekend gathering in Luxembourg, the conviviality of the previous evening at the Grand Duke’s reception evaporated at the news of migrants pouring out of Hungary into Austria.

“This has to be an eye opener how messed up the situation in Europe is now,” Austria’s Sebastian Kurz told reporters in unusually blunt comments, moments after Peter Szijjarto, his Hungarian counterpart, blamed the “irresponsible statements” of EU politicians on the migrant crisis. His was a thinly veiled jab at Austrian and German plans to welcome many more refugees.

Sep 4, 2015

After Iran deal, EU bids to restart Israel-Palestinian talks

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Arab countries will join the Middle East Quartet in New York at the end of September to seek ways to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the EU’s top diplomat said on Friday, part of a new European diplomatic initiative.

Encouraged by Europe’s role in securing a nuclear deal with Iran, the EU believes a broad range of countries could help, more than a year after the collapse of a U.S.-brokered peace push envisaging a Palestinian state co-existing with Israel.

Sep 4, 2015

EU should repatriate more economic migrants, France, Germany, Italy say

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Italy, France and Germany pushed on Friday for a European system to repatriate more migrants who fail to qualify for asylum and to improve external border controls, as EU foreign ministers sought a broader response to the bloc’s migrant crisis.

In a letter to the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, the three governments called for new rules to end a patchwork of national policies that have sowed division among member states.

Sep 3, 2015

Europe seeks more action against Mediterranean migrant smugglers

LUXEMBOURG, Sept 3 (Reuters) – The European Union is set to
intensify its actions against migrant smugglers in the
Mediterranean, the bloc’s top diplomat said on Thursday, seeing
sufficient political support to start searching and diverting
smuggler vessels.

As Europe struggles to respond to its worst refugee crisis
in decades, France, Britain and Italy want to stop the smugglers
who pack people onto rickety boats for the dangerous journey by
sea, part of a wider plan to include taking in asylum seekers.

Aug 26, 2015

Russia and NATO need new rules to cut risk of war, ex-ministers say

BRUSSELS, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Russia and NATO must agree
common rules to handle unexpected military encounters to reduce
the risk of inadvertently triggering a war between Moscow and
the West, a group of former foreign and defence ministers said
on Wednesday.

With both Russia and NATO intensifying military exercises
because of the crisis in Ukraine, incidents such as mid-air
face-offs between rival military jets are on the increase.

Aug 24, 2015

Europe must show courage in migrant crisis -EU’s Juncker

BRUSSELS, Aug 24 (Reuters) – The European Union needs
“collective courage” to confront the migrant crisis in the
Mediterranean even if immigration issues are unpopular at home,
the bloc’s chief executive said on Monday, rejecting suggestions
of inaction in Brussels.

Facing what the European Commission says is the worst
refugee crisis since World War Two, European governments are
bickering over how to deal with record numbers of migrants
fleeing war and poverty and heading across Europe.

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.

    • About Robin

      "Robin Emmott is Reuters diplomatic correspondent in Brussels, covering the European Union’s foreign and security affairs and NATO. After spells in Amsterdam at Het Financeele Dagblad and in Mexico City with the Financial Times, Robin spent a decade covering Latin America for Reuters. Since 2011, he has been in Brussels writing on trade, foreign affairs and economics."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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