Tuesday, January 23 2018

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EU will ’survive’ Brexit, remain strong: Mogherini

Update: January, 04/2018 - 11:00
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (centre) addressed Britain’s departure from the bloc during a visit to Cuba, saying the union will "survive" and remain strong.— AFP/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News

HAVANA — The European Union will "survive" Britain’s Brexit departure and will remain strong, the bloc’s foreign policy chief has said.

"Many believed that the referendum in the United Kingdom (on leaving the EU) was going to be the beginning of the end of the European Union," Federica Mogherini said during a two-day visit to Cuba on Wednesday.

"I’m very positive on the fact that the Union is not only going to survive, but it’s going to go deeper," Mogherini said.

"The world needs the European Union to stay strong, and so, this is what are we are going to do," she said.

Britons voted 52 to 48 per cent in June 2016 in favour of quitting the EU, putting their country on track to become the first to leave the bloc.

Britain began what is expected to be two years of difficult divorce negotiations with a formal notification by letter to the EU president in March 2017.

The talks between London and Brussels are set to move on to transition arrangements, trade and security as Britain prepares to leave the EU in March 2019.

EU foreign policy chief: ’blockade’ of Cuba not solution

Blockading Cuba is not the solution, the EU’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday on the trip aimed at strengthening ties with Havana.

Much of the half-century-old US economic embargo against Cuba remains entrenched in law, but under former president Barack Obama federal authorities began to loosen some rules -- something his successor Donald Trump vowed to reverse.

"The blockade (of Cuba) is not the solution. The Europeans have told our American friends many times; we have affirmed it in the United Nations," Federica Mogherini said during a presentation to students and teachers in Havana.

"We know well that the sole effect of the blockade is to worsen the quality of life of women, men and children," she said.

"The blockade is obsolete, it is illegal," Mogherini said.

Mogherini’s remarks came on the first of a two-day visit to Cuba that will include meetings with officials with the aim of a "swift joint implementation of the Political Dialogue and Co-operation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba," according to an EU statement.

US-Cuba ties began to warm when Obama was in office, with the countries exchanging ambassadors in 2015 for the first time since 1961, but Trump has taken a different approach.

In June, Trump appeared in Miami before a cheering crowd of Cuban-Americans, including veterans of the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, to vow to reverse Obama’s measures. — AFP

 

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