International

Security officer tested positive: President of the EU Council Michel in quarantine – special summit postponed – political

Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, has postponed the Thursday and Friday summit of EU heads of state or government to early October. His spokesman Barend Leyts announced this on Twitter on Tuesday. He referred to a corona infection with one of Michel’s security guards.

“The President of the European Council learned today that a security officer with whom he was in close contact early last week tested positive for Covid,” Leyts wrote. “The president has had himself tested regularly and only yesterday negative. According to Belgian rules, he went into quarantine today. The spokesman named 1 and 2 October as the new date for the special EU summit.

The topic of the special summit originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday would include EU relations with Turkey. At the end of August, the EU issued an ultimatum to Turkey for controversial gas investigations in the Eastern Mediterranean and threatened additional sanctions.

If there is no progress, a list of further punitive measures could be discussed at the special summit, said EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell. These would also include economic sanctions.

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Greece and Cyprus have long argued for tougher sanctions against Turkey. They believe that the search for natural gas is taking place in their sea areas and is therefore illegal.

It should also include relations with China and the further development of the EU’s internal market. In addition, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her colleagues wanted to tackle Britain’s departure from the EU. The heads of state or government would briefly discuss the state of affairs, it was said recently after a meeting between EU negotiator Michel Barnier and councilor Michel.

Negotiations on a trade deal between the EU and Great Britain after the Brexit transition phase from 2021 stalled recently. The background to this is the UK government’s plans for a so-called internal market law that would partially nullify the Brexit deal negotiated with the EU in 2019. The EU sees this as a violation of the law and is demanding that the controversial clauses be withdrawn by the end of September. (dpa)

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