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* Missed messages on Iran  Robert Kagan

* Envoy Condemns US Officials' Irresponsible Comments on Iran  News Report

* 'Israel will be destroyed if it attacks Iran'  News Report

* Warning of long war if Israel attacks Iran  News Report

* Iran unlikely to halt nuclear program, secret letters show  News Report

* Iran denies Ahmadi-Nejad was attacked  News Report

* Sanctions set stage for a new push on Iran  News Report

* اطلاعیۀ آیت الله منتطری دربارۀ حرام بودن مقاومت در برابر رأی مردم  Ali Behrooz

* لیست اسامی با حروف فارسی، تا تاریخ 08/09/08  Ali Behrooz

* War of words, or words of war  Ali Behrooz

* Could Israel use submarines against Iran?  News Report

* Iran deplores UAE claim on 3 islands  News Report

* 'Iran will respond to any attack'  News Report

* Carter to meet Hamas leadership in Cairo  News Report

* No Peace Without Hamas  News Report

* Ahmadinejad again voices Sept. 11 doubts  News Report

* Clinton, Obama tackle Iran issue in debate  News Report

* Bomb kills at least 9 in Iran mosque  News Report

* Iran demands Israel stop force threats  News Report

* Ahmadinejad to dismiss 2 cabinet ministers in Iran  News Report

* Iran: Naval encounter routine check  News Report

* Tony Blair's Palestine  News Report

* Clinton attacks Obama and McCain over Iraq  News Report

* Reza Pahlavi: Leadership for Democracy in Iran  News Report

* Petraeus: Return to 'pre-surge' troop levels, then wait  News Report

* Blast rocks US complex in Sanaa  News Report

* Clashes in Nile Delta after strike aborted  News Report

* When a great power goes mad  News Report

* Iranians defy censor with bootleg DVDs  News Report

* Putin says Iran is no threat  News Report

* Creating a US-Iran Bridge  News Report

* Court removes PKK from terror funds list  News Report

* 12 militants wanted by Israel flee Palestinian jail in West Bank after fight  News Report

* Limiting Tehran’s Influence?  Ali Behrooz

* UAE detains ship as grip on Tehran tightens  News Report

* Iranian critic not guilty of espionage  News Report

* Israelis and Palestinians pledge to reach peace pact by end of 2008  News Report

* Conference in Qom focuses on Iran-US challenges  News Report

* FM spokesman: Iran's plan on Iraq not put for voting  News Report

* Iran's top dissident cleric calls for U.S. talks  News Report

* Islamic militants take fight against Musharraf to 'Pakistan's Switzerland'  News Report

* 'Desperate' Musharraf declares martial law  News Report

* US Sanctions on Iran Leave Europeans in a Quandary  Sir Cyril Townsend

* After Thamilselvan  News Report

* Analysis: Is Abbas playing his cards right ahead of ME summit?  News Report

* Bahrain accuses Iran of nuclear weapons lie  News Report

* Senior Tamil Tiger leader killed  News Report

* US declares PKK 'a common enemy'  News Report

* Iran urged to join Gulf nuclear deal  News Report

* Iran's leaders need enemies like Bush, and at every turn he obliges them  News Report

* Giuliani hits Democrats on Iran  News Report

* Iran: We have no information on Arad  News Report

* Clinton hails US move on Iran  News Report

* Israel to prepare for potential missile attack  News Report

* US First Lady in Kuwait  News Report

* Rice: Mideast solution in jeopardy  News Report

* Kurdish fighters defy the world from mountain fortress as bombing begins  News Report

* Protesters confront Condoleezza Rice as she testifies on Middle East  News Report

* Showdown With Iran  News Report

* U.S. outlines Baghdad security handover plan  News Report

* Poll shows global opposition to Iran - and U.S.  News Report

* Iraq promises Turkey it will curb Kurdish rebels  News Report

* Big shoes to fill  News Report

* LUKOIL says halts Iran oil project on US sanctions  News Report

* Three soldiers killed in Darfur camp attack - UN  News Report

* There's a better - and cheaper - way that Washington can help Lebanon  News Report

* Lebanese patience for Nahr al-Bared displaced wears thin  News Report

* Iran, Syria urge diplomatic means instead of military incursion into Iraq  News Report

* Talabani refuses to deliver PKK leaders to Turkey amid protests against incursion  News Report

* Turkey vows to defeat PKK rebels  News Report

* Iran N-case on Olmert's Paris agenda  News Report

* Motaki (FM): US in No Position to Attack Iran  News Report

* We will fight to the death, Kurdish rebel leader vows from his hideout  News Report

* Deaths And Hostages In Border Clash  News Report

* Flash News: Kurdish separatistand 12 Turkish soldiers killed  News Report

* IRGC Commander:Aggressions to Be Reciprocated with a Rain of Rockets  News Report

* 2 leaders back Blair as European Union president  News Report

* Babacan stresses dialogue as key to solving Lebanese crisis  News Report

* Jordan hopes for positive outcome of Annapolis meeting  News Report

* Iran's nuclear negotiator resigns  News Report

* Larijani Resigns  Ali Behrooz

* NATO says shipment of roadside bombs was 'from Iran'  News Report

* Israel impeding effort to clear cluster bombs  News Report

* Bhutto defiant over bomb attack  News Report

* Democrats' stance on Iran criticized  News Report

* Top Palestinian negotiator may resign  News Report

* UN condemns killing of its truck drivers in Darfur  News Report

* Kurds sign oil deals beyond regional borders – former minister  News Report

* Jerusalem is ours, warns Likud  News Report

* Rice back in Israel after Egypt talks  News Report

* Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers in southern Iran go on strike  News Report

* Ahmadinejad: Caspian states to form economic cooperation organization  News Report

* Putin lands in Iran for nuke talks  News Report

* Mideast Conference and the Illusive Peace  News Report

* Coalition of the Reluctant  News Report

* World bank neglects African farming, study says  News Report

* Putin dismisses threat of assassination in Iran  News Report

* Israel signals readiness to cede parts of Jerusalem to Palestinians  News Report

* Christiane Amanpour: 'People think I relax with a Kalashnikov - I don't'  News Report

* After honeymoon, Sarkozy method poses three risks  News Report


2 leaders back Blair as European Union president
[ News Report]  [2007-10-20 09:27:36]
[Source: Independent - 19/10/07]


Angela Merkel of Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Gordon Brown of Britain on Friday in Lisbon. (AP Photo)
 
By Dan Bilefsky

LISBON: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain endorsed Tony Blair on Friday to be the first to fill a re-created European Union presidency, even as critics questioned how a leader from a nation deeply skeptical of the European Union could serve in the role.

European leaders agreed early on Friday to a new treaty for the 27-member bloc that creates the post of European Union president to represent Europe internationally on issues like climate change, bilateral relations and development. The post, with a 30-month term that can be extended to five years, is to replace a cumbersome system by which European Union leaders and nations rotate holding the presidency every six months.

The new office would come into effect in January 2009 and could finally make it clear whom Washington should call when it "wants to speak to Europe," as Henry Kissinger once put it.

As rumors swirled at the summit meeting over which candidate could win the necessary backing of all 27 member states — with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark; Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg; and a former Polish president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, also cited — Brown insisted that his charismatic predecessor as Britain's prime minister was singularly qualified.

"Tony Blair would be a great candidate for any significant international job," Brown said. Referring to Blair's current job as the European Union's Middle East envoy, he added, "As you know, the work that he is doing in the Middle East is something that is of huge international importance."

Blair's candidacy for the presidency was also endorsed by Sarkozy.

"I saw Tony Blair the night before last and he is a remarkable man, the most pro-European of all the British," he said. "I don't know what his intentions are. But that one could think of him as a possibility is quite a smart move."

He added that Juncker, Europe's longest-serving prime minister, was also a good choice because of his long institutional memory.

Foreign policy analysts said Blair was one of the few European leaders with the status to improve the European Union's international profile while expanding its influence with Washington. But many also questioned how the man who divided Europe by supporting the war in Iraq — and who is regarded with deep resentment in many parts of the Muslim world — could ever unify Europe.

Others doubted that a candidate from Britain, which remains outside of the euro and does not subscribe to the core values codified in the new treaty, would ever receive wide endorsement.

Europe's leaders hope the new treaty will help overcome the drift that has plagued the bloc since French and Dutch voters rejected a European Union constitution two years ago. Yet the document still faces some difficult hurdles.

The major obstacle is ratification by all 27 governments, a requirement that has doomed European Union treaties in the past.

In Britain, Brown has come under severe pressure from the Conservative opposition and the European Union-skeptic tabloid press to call a popular vote on whether to ratify the treaty, a vote that polls show he would be certain to lose. In Lisbon, he insisted that a referendum was not necessary since Britain had won all the concessions it asked for, including retaining sovereignty over judicial, foreign and defense policies.

But even before he had returned to London, The Sun, Britain's best-selling newspaper, was already accusing him of surrendering centuries of British power to Brussels "in a last supper washed down with fine wine."

 





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