EU’s Breton calls for ‘pause and reset’ in transatlantic relationship

The comment made by a top EU official comes following the ongoing dispute between France and the United States over a security deal involving the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

EU’s Breton calls for ‘pause and reset’ in transatlantic relationship

A top EU official today urged Europe and the United States to “pause and reset” their “broken” relationship, adding fuel to an ongoing dispute between France and Washington over a new security deal between the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

The EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton — an appointee of the French government under President Emmanuel Macron — made the comment during a visit to Washington where he met with U.S. counterparts to discuss coronavirus policies, technology and cybersecurity issues.

“I planned this visit to the U.S. weeks ago with a positive agenda, to deepen EU-U.S. cooperation [but] something has changed,” Breton is expected to say at a virtual event, according to prepared notes shared with reporters. “There is a growing feeling in Europe – and I say this with regret – that something is broken in our transatlantic relations.”

“There is a strong perception that trust between the EU and U.S. has been eroded,” Breton will say, singling out the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and last week’s security cooperation agreement between Washington, London and Canberra as key reasons. “It is probably time to pause and reset our EU-U.S. relationship.”

Breton’s remarks come after other EU leaders on Monday accused U.S. President Joe Biden of disloyalty and demanded he explain why he misled France and other European partners in forging a new strategic tie-up with the U.K. and Australia. The so-called AUSUK deal meant that Canberra canceled a deal worth more than €50 billion to buy French submarines.

The United States tried to ease European concerns on Monday when it announced a sudden decision to lift coronavirus travel restrictions for fully-vaccinated Europeans looking to fly to the U.S. from November onward.

The decision to lift restrictions is “a welcome – but logical – decision given the success of the vaccination campaign in the EU,” Breton will say.

European diplomats are currently deliberating whether to cancel or postpone an upcoming EU-U.S. summit to discuss joint policies on technology and trade.

The first meeting of the Trade and Tech Council is scheduled for September 29, in Pittsburgh, but the diplomatic crisis means the EU could cancel the gathering altogether, officials told POLITICO.

Source : Politico EU More   

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British teenager’s parents win first battle in campaign to avenge his death

The death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn caused a diplomatic feud between the UK and the US.

British teenager’s parents win first battle in campaign to avenge his death

The family of Harry Dunn, a British teenager killed when his motorcycle was struck by the wife of a U.S. diplomat, have reached a “resolution” in a civil claim for damages.

A Virginia court had been asked to rule between Dunn’s parents and his alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas. The details of the verdict have not been made public, according to the BBC, but were hailed as a “milestone” by a Dunn family spokesperson.

“An agreement has been reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them,” said the spokesperson, Radd Seiger. “The family’s courage and determination to see this through has been incredible”.

“They will now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case.”

Dunn was 19 years old when he died in a traffic accident outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019. An apparent wrong-way driver struck the young man on his motorcycle, and Dunn died in the ensuing crash. The woman behind the wheel was Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat only three weeks into his U.K. posting. Following the accident, Sacoolas left the United Kingdom after being granted diplomatic immunity by the U.S. government, Sky News reported.

Public outrage at Sacoolas’ departure was channeled by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described it early last year as a “denial of justice.“

In December 2020, the Crown Prosecution Service authorized Northamptonshire Police to charge Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving. But the subsequent extradition request for Sacoolas to be returned to the U.K. was rejected by the U.S. government, causing a diplomatic feud.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated that the resolution of the civil case was “absolutely not” the end of efforts to get Sacoolas back to the U.K. “We continue to press for justice for Harry,” she said.

Source : Politico EU More   

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