Category Archives: News

Germany hopes for orderly Brexit soon

Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shared his hope of Westiminster lawmakers would vote to proceed with an orderly Brexit, he also confirmed his readiness for a short extension of Brexit for the lawmakers to proceed with the legislation. 

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“I hope that the British lower house, showing the necessary responsibility, can take a decision on this today and that on the basis of this decision we will be in a position to achieve an orderly Brexit,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. 

Should there be problems in Britain with the ratification, I would not rule out that there could be a short, technical extension,” the top diplomat added. 

Should there not be a majority in the British lower house, then we in the European Union would have to look at whether there would then be a full extension – and only then would there be a decision about that. At the moment, I don’t think it is sensible or appropriate to speculate about that.”

EU calls Baku to release protestors

Dozens of people were detained on October 19 in Baku, Azerbaijan, following their attempt to rally peacefully.

Excessive and unprovoked force was reportedly used to disperse the crowds and arrest participants. Such incidents need to be investigated. We equally call on the authorities to release peaceful protesters remaining in detention”  says the Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in Azerbaijan.

*Freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and we expect Azerbaijan to ensure that it can be fully exercised, in line with the country’s international obligations.*

Police in Azerbaijan on Saturday detained scores of protesters, including the leader of the main opposition Popular Front, at the start of a planned rally against low salaries, corruption and a lack of democracy in the energy-rich ex-Soviet state. 

The protesters who attempted to rally in the streets of the capital had put forward demands of higher salaries for state employees and fair and independent elections. The human rights groups have been criticising Azerbaijan for a long time for a poor fundamental rights records. 

Popular Front leader Ali Kerimli said that some 50 people, mostly organizers of Saturday’s unauthorized rally, had already been detained earlier in the week, exact numbers of arrested are unknown.

Incumbent President Ilham Aliyev rules the country after death of his farther – the first President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev (1993-2003) who previously was the First secretary of the Communist party of Soviet Republic (1969-1982), and member of the Politburo of the USSR. The spouse of the President AlieyvMehriban – is his first Vice-President of Azerbajan. (Image above: President and First Vice-President of Azerbaijan).

Westminster aims at one year Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to negotiate further extension of Brexit deadline with the European Union, after he failed to win the support of Westminster for his Article 50 Agreement with the bloc, facing another delay caused by MP Oliver Letwin amendment. The MPs passed an amendment tabled by a cross-party group, led by Mr. Letwin by 322 votes to 306 – a majority of 16. The amendment says Parliament will withhold approval of the Prime minister’s deal until the withdrawal bill implementing Article 50 Agreement has been passed. In essence the #Letwin manoeuvre means winning time, shifting away the vote for endorsed in Brussels this week Brexit deal.

Voting down Prime Minister’s deal implies the request of a further postponement of abandoning the EU, the step Boris Johnson categorically denies, also pointing at the EU fatigue from the protracted debate on conditions of the departure.

MPs voted 322 to 306 in favour of a 26-word Letwin amendment that imposed an obligation on Prime Minister to ask the EU for a delay until the end of January 2020.

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“And of course, the truth of it is this is all about getting a second referendum. That is what the Remainer forces in Parliament want. And the more time they buy, the more chance they’ve got of getting something like that passed. 

“So you know, we’ve got this odd situation that goes on and on and on. A Remain Parliament and a Leave country and it’s just the most awful situation.

“I feel in the absence of a general election, nothing is going to improve” said Member of the European Parliament, and the leader of Brexit party Nigel Farage in his comment to LBC TV after the vote.

The representative of the European Parliament at Brexit talks. Guy Verhofstadt wrote: “The @Europarl_EN’s Brexit Steering Group will consider the outcome of today’s vote for the Letwin amendment on Monday. Whatever happens next, the marches outside the Parliament show just how important a close EU – UK future relationship is”.

The EU spokesperson said the European Commission took a note of the vote supporting Letwin amendment. “It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible” she added.

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The president of the European Council had a telephone
conversation with Prime Minister Johnson, and is awaiting an official letter, informing the EU about the situation in the Westminster.

Tusks regrets EU refusal of N.Macedonia and Albania accession talks

On October 17 the EU leaders discussed the enlargement. The overwhelming majority wanted to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania. However, such a decision requires unanimity, and there was no unanimity yesterday. That is why the EU will revert to this issue before the Zagreb summit in May 2020.

‘Let me be very clear: North Macedonia and Albania are not to blame for this. And the Commission reports are also clear that both these countries did what they were asked to do. And the adoption of the Prespa Agreement was a truly extraordinary achievement. So both countries have the right to start EU negotiations as of today. They are ready. Unfortunately, a few member states are not ready yet. This is why we didn’t manage to reach a positive decision. Personally, I think it was a mistake, but I will not comment on it further” the President of the European Council Donald Tusk said.

‘Today I would like to send a message to our Macedonian and Albanian friends: please do not give up. I fully understand your frustration, because you did your share and we haven’t. The EU is a complex political entity, and it is true that sometimes it takes too long to decide. But I have absolutely no doubt that one day you will become full members of the European Union.”

‘Today leaders also discussed the priorities of the new Commission with President-elect von der Leyen, as well as the future EU budget. It was an important discussion that will continue in the following months. However, without Jean-Claude  (Juncker) and myself around the European Council table, as you know. On this note, I want to thank Jean-Claude, my colleague and friend, for our friendship, for your loyalty and solidarity and for our really great cooperation. And I also want to thank you, the media, for your tough but fair questions, for your patience, for staying up so late with us. And for laughing at some of our jokes. Never funny, frankly speaking…”

EU Council endorses Brexit Deal II

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU and the UK were “very close” to concluding Article 50 Agreement, often referred to as “Brexit Deal”. After the European Council Summit, endorsing the deal, the approval by Westminster and the European Parliament will be the final steps to seal it.

President Tusk was addressing the press corps at Brussels Brexit Summit after the 27 European Union member states agreed to approve of a deal, under which Britain will leave on October 31 in an orderly fashion.

However the experts say the Brexit deal is far from being sealed, while there is growing scepticism among British Members of Parliament, who oppose it, claiming that the second version of the Article 50 Agreement is worse than the forme Prime Minister May deal.

Since day one, the EU has been United. We negotiated with the #UK as one union, one family. We put peace and people above everything else. Now it’s time to turn a page and look towards our new partnership with the UK #Brexit”, the EU top negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Brexit meeting delayed to 17 CET

The meeting on debriefing for the EU member-states on the latest developments of Brexit talks has been delayed to 1500 GMT on October 16 from 1200 GMT, European diplomats said, commenting on state of affairs between Brussels and London on sealing a deal for orderly Brexit was postponed on, Reuters news agency reports.

Later the reports of further delay were posted on Twitter, indicating 17 CET as planned time for the meeting.(Image above; Michel Barnier, archive)

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Libyan Foreign Minister exchanges opinions with MEPs

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libyan Interim government Abdulhadi Ibrahim Lahweej visited the European Parliament on October 15 to exchange opinions with MEP on the Libyan conflict resolution. Although the top diplomat had discussions behind closed doors, he was eloquent with Brussels press corps about the range of problems in focus: the issues of interférence into home affairs of Libya by foreign governments, growing terrorist threat, illicit arms trafficking, and humanitarian crisis.

In violation of UN ban Turkey provides with armement, conducting ongoing aggression against Libya, while Qatar ensures financing, the Minister said, accusing both of supporting terrorism.

We are confronted not only with a problem of militias, but also with aggression of Turkey and Qatar“, Minister Lahweej said. “We are taking about authorities of these states, but not people”, he added.

The violation of UN arms embargo and terrorism are the issues of grave concern of the Libyan top diplomat, who started his visit to Brussels with a highly symbolical gesture of laying the wreath to victims of Brussels terrorist attack at Metro station Malbeek.

The visit of the Minister to Brussels is a significant step towards the efforts of German diplomacy to organise the announced conference on Libya end October – beginning November. However the terrorism remans the major obstacle on the way to peace and reconciliation between two major centre of power in the East and West of the torn by conflict country.. In May Tobruk Parliament defined the Muslim Brotherhood at power in Tripoli as “terrorist group“. Minister Lahweej repeatedly confirmed the determination of Interim government to built democratic *inclusive* Libya, where “every citizen is heard“.

While seeing political divergence of views as a feature of modern democratic societies, the Libyan top diplomat underlined that the compromise with terrorism is not possible.

Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who commands the Libya National Army (LNA) started march on Tripoli in April, announcing the intention to liberate the capital city from terrorist groups, keeping “hostage” Chairman Al Sarraj, and his administration, backed by UN and the EU.

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