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Mon May 13, 2019, 05:45 AM

Pompeo to visit Brussels as Europe meets on Iran

Source: Agence France Presse

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Brussels on Monday to discuss "pressing matters" including the Iran nuclear deal, as the European signatories to the accord meet for talks on how to prevent its collapse. The EU reiterated its determination to save the 2015 agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief, as tensions between the US and Iran rack up...

... Few details of Pompeo's agenda in Brussels have been announced, beyond the State Department saying talks would be held with officials from France, the UK and Germany. Mogherini gave a chilly response to news of Pompeo's visit, which she said was only communicated to Brussels at the last minute. "We'll be here all day with a busy agenda so we'll see during the day how and if we manage to arrange a meeting," she told reporters...

... Pompeo's visit to Brussels means he is scrapping a stop expected on Monday in Moscow. But he will still head to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday to meet President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a State Department official added just before Pompeo left Washington. In recent days, Pompeo has already cancelled trips to Berlin and to Greenland to focus on the Iran issue.





Read more: https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/pompeo-visit-brussels-europe-meets-iran-doc-1ge4wb1



btw there is also this, top news story in Spain's El País this morning (my translation):

More spending on weapons, yes. But strategic independence, no. The United States has warned the European Union in writing that its current defense plans are endangering decades of integration of the transatlantic defense industry and military cooperation through NATO.

The letter, dated May 1 and which has been seen by EL PAÍS, comes loaded with more or less veiled threats of possible political and commercial reprisals if Brussels continues with its plans to develop European armaments projects without necessarily including third parties, not even the United States...


https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/05/12/actualidad/1557662517_974981.html

... This story is apparently yet to appear in English-language news feeds... But there is this from May 3:

... Brussels plans to spend around €13 billion on defense capabilities and research over its next long-term budget as it seeks to boost resilience and reduce Europe’s reliance on the U.S. for protection.

The defense portfolio is currently handled by Federica Mogherini, the E.U.’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and head of the European External Action Service, but she will leave office later this year when the current European Commission’s mandate ends. The sources said the incoming team could include a dedicated defense commissioner. “Reflections are under way within the institutions for the creation of a directorate general in charge of security and defense issues,” French defense minister Florence Parly said last month.

France has been at the forefront of the E.U. defense push. In August 2018, President Emmanuel Macron suggested that Europe should adopt a NATO-style collective defense to give the E.U. ‘strategic autonomy’, and a year earlier, Macron called for the formation of a European defense fund.

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/05/03/eu-defense-directorate-commissioner-means-identified/

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 05:55 AM

1. Yeah, the Germans have taken note of his not visiting Berlin

But his effort to try to help Putin break up Europe isn't going to get him any kudos for his omission, which the visit to Brussels indicates he has already realized. No one is fooled. Since the EU is nothing without Germany, the visit to Brussels is pretty much the same thing as stopping in Germany, just leaving him enough room to save face (when he comes back to report to Bolton) by saying, "see? I didn't stop in Berlin!"

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Response to DFW (Reply #1)

Mon May 13, 2019, 06:21 AM

2. I don't see that bringing the current US 'Putin fetish' into discussion of European affairs

is very useful, frankly. It is US actors such as Bannon and behind him the Mercers who are visibly directly meddling in European far-right populist movements.

If you look into the issues, you might see that in fact the leaders of European countries and the EU are working in some effective solidarity to stand up to US bullying tactics and open warmongering, in defiance of international law, in this case towards Iran.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #2)

Mon May 13, 2019, 07:02 AM

3. That sounds like a very North American viewpoint from exclusively English language sources

Here in the EU, we perceive the Russian interference all the time. GB just had a huge exposé on Russian backing for Brexit, and Soviet financing for "leftist (LINO, if the extrapolation can be made)" movements prior to the breakup of the USSR left a huge paper trail the East Germans never managed to destroy before being chased out by their own people. In other words, this is not a new phenomenon, and the Russian transition from left to right was practically seamless.

One of the EU's main problems is precisely that they are finding it harder and harder to reach any kind of consensus at all. The Franco-German pillar of stability is falling apart with Macron and Merkel no longer seeing eye to eye on economics, and support for rogue neo-fascist regimes (from rightists both in North America and east of the Ukraine) in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere is making the desired pan-European solidarity impossible.

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Response to DFW (Reply #3)

Mon May 13, 2019, 07:18 AM

4. I'm in Spain and we see no Russian government interference here. Oligarchs and

Capos, yes. But most of them are now in the UK. We see UK Intelligence Services outfits such as the Integrity Initiative interfering, particularly in relation to the Catalan separatist issue. It has been suggested that Germany's BND might also have recently been seeking to play a role.

I have not heard my Italian neighbors, who discuss Italian politics, referring at all to Russia in their context... China's New Silk Road project, yes.

The EU indeed has many potentially problematic issues to ponder and to resolve, not least of which is the perhaps excessive preponderance, at least in German minds, of Germany in the intra- and inter-national politics of the EU.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 07:23 AM

5. Wonder why the head iranian dude doesn't get whatever it needs from

the e.u.? SCrew cheetoz...If indeed iran is funding and promoting terrorism around the world, per the
wingers in washington, then why isn't france, germany and all those guys more...reluctant to trade
with them?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 07:35 AM

6. Did he just invite himself?

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #6)

Mon May 13, 2019, 12:05 PM

7. Yep.

Apparently.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:44 PM

8. Kicking.

Not a good development.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 05:09 PM

9. Britain warns of Iran-U.S. conflict, Pompeo meets Europeans

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran and the United States could trigger a conflict by accident in an already unstable Gulf region, Britain’s foreign minister said on Monday, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks in Brussels with the main European powers on the crisis...

... While the European Union shares some U.S. concerns about Iran, including over its involvement in the Syrian conflict, it still backs the 2015 nuclear deal, saying that it is in Europe’s own security interests.

“We are very worried about a conflict, about the risk of a conflict ... of an escalation that is unintended,” Britain’s Jeremy Hunt told reporters in Brussels before talks with Pompeo...

... German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had told Pompeo during their Monday meeting: “We do not want it to come to a military conflict (between the United States and Iran).” Maas avoided any public criticism of Washington, saying both sides wanted to ensure peace in the Middle East. But he said it was clear Europe and the United States were “going about it in different ways ... taking different courses.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-iran-mogherini/britain-warns-of-iran-u-s-conflict-pompeo-meets-europeans-idUKKCN1SJ0HF

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 11:08 PM

10. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks cause controversy, leaving transatlantic relations under 's

Source: ABC News

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks cause controversy, leaving transatlantic relations under 'severe strain,' experts warn

By GUY DAVIES LONDON — May 13, 2019, 1:10 PM ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip overseas has already caused a stir in some European capitals.

Last week he visited London and begins talks with European leaders in Brussels, Belgium, before visiting Russia on May 14. But as the next phase of talks with European leaders begins, the perceived unpredictability of U.S. foreign policy is now proving difficult to swallow for some of America's closest European and British allies, according to diplomatic experts.

Pompeo has been highly critical of the European Union and the U.K. on his European tour.

In a speech described by The Financial Times as a “no-holds-barred attack,” Pompeo said the U.K.’s plans to allow Chinese technology company Huawei to expand aspects of its 5G network could amount to “open doors for Beijing’s spymasters.” The U.S. claims Huawei has been doing business with Iran and could potentially leak data to the Chinese government.

On Iran, Pompeo said that the U.K. government shares "our assessment of the threat, but they have taken a different approach when it comes to constraining Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

-snip-


Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/International/secretary-state-mike-pompeos-remarks-controversy-leaving-transatlantic/story?id=63004375

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