Jean Asselborn: believes EU can form a common policy on Syria
Photo: Olivier Minaire (archives)
Jean Asselborn hopes for diplomacy, police arrest suspect over fatal crash, rugby team wins, Turkey talks stall, Montenegro picks pro-EU president, experts issue robotics warning. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Asselborn: weapons no way to stop war in Syria
Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn has commented on the air stiles by the USA, France and the UK against Syria over the weekend. Speaking on Deutschlandfunk ahead of Monday’s meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers, Asselborn said that he could understand the decision to use a one-time operation to strike at Syria’s chemical weapons production. But he also said that despite the air strikes, he believes that the EU can form a common policy and can still use diplomacy. “In France and the UK, they also know that weapons cannot be used to stop the war in Syria,” he said. A meeting organized by the EU to address humanitarian aid and to stimulate the political process in dealing with Syria is due to take place on 25 April.
Macron claims influence over Trump
Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron has said that he guided US president Donald Trump in the joint military action against Syria. “We also persuaded him that we needed to limit the strikes to chemical weapons [sites], after things got a little carried away over tweets,” Macron is reported to have said by The Guardian.
Arrest made after police fatal crash
The prosecutor’s office in Diekirch has confirmed that an arrest has been made in connection with Saturday morning’s collision between two police patrol vehicles that left one officer dead. The two cars were in pursuit of a driver who had failed to stop at a check point in Weiswampach in the early hours of Saturday. The 37-year old business owner has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm. The male officer driver of a patrol car was killed, and his female passenger sustained critical injuries after it collided with a police van in which three other officers were left with minor injuries. The suspect, who was driving under the influence of alcohol, could face between 3 and 5 years in prison and a 15-year driving ban.
Turkey frozen over accession
Excerpts from an European Commission report due to be published on Tuesday show that there is no basis for opening negotiations with Turkey on new aspects of its EU membership, says Reuters. The report, parts of which were leaked to German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”, says that there are huge issues on fundamental issues such as human rights, press and judicial freedoms and the rule of law.
Montenegro elects pro-EU president
Some good news for the European Union is emerging from Montenegro, where the presidential election is set to be won by the pro-EU Milo Djukanovic. Reuters reports that projections give him 53 percent of the votes, according to projected results. Djukanovic is a member of the Democratic Party of Socialists, which has pledged to continue the process of gaining EU membership, and last year led Montenegro into NATO.
Luxembourg’s rugby team recorded a 45-5 victory over Finland at the Josy Barthel stadium on Saturday afternoon. The result leaves Luxembourg top of Conference North 2 game in the Rugby Europe International Championships with 3 wins from 3 games. Up next is a home tie against Norway on 28 April.
More than 150 experts in robotics, artificial intelligence, law, medical science and ethics have written an open letter to the EU warning that granting legal status to autonomous robots is “ideological and nonsensical and non-pragmatic”. As Delano reported in December 2016, Luxembourg MEP Mady Delvaux was at the spearhead of European Parliament moves to define smart robots and establish a classification and registration system for them. But experts say that “from an ethical and legal perspective, creating a legal personality for a robot is inappropriate.”