The EU presents first legal draft of Brexit accord +++ Afghanistan's President offers Taliban peace talks
News | 28 February 2018
The EU presents first legal draft of Brexit accord
The EU has started to present its first legal draft of its Brexit withdrawal agreement, giving details of the terms of the UK's departure from the bloc. The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says the 120-page document translates the pledges made so far by both sides into legally-binding language and that it shouldn't contain any surprises. He said if the negotiations are to be successful, they should be speeded up. Barnier also announced that he will meet with British officials for a new round of talks next week.
Afghanistan's President offers Taliban peace talks
The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has made an offer of peace talks to the Taliban. He made the announcement at a meeting of 25 countries and organisations involved in what's called the "Kabul process" which is aimed at ending the conflict. Ghani has proposed a ceasefire and says the Taliban should eventually be recognised as a legitimate political group. The president added that it was now up to the Taliban to take the process forward: "we are making this offer without any pre-conditions in order to lead to a peace agreement. I call on the Taliban and their leadership: today the decision is in your hands. Accept peace, a dignified peace."
Chancellor Kurz holds talks with President Putin
The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is holding talks with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. Bi-lateral relations and Moscow's relationship with the EU as well as Ukraine and Syria are on the agenda.
Kushner's security clearance at White House downgraded
President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner has had his security clearance at the White House downgraded, losing access to top-level security briefings. David Gergen, who served as a presidential advisor in four previous administrations, explains what this will mean: "he won't have access to the most sensitive information which is often the most important if you're trying to negotiate Middle East peace as he's been asked to by the President. It's just extremely hard to see how Jared Kushner can remain the director of US diplomacy in the Middle East. It really strips him of a lot of his authority".
Leaked UN report on N Korea and Syria
A leaked UN report says North Korea has been shipping supplies to Syria that could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons. The report - which has been seen by several media outlets - also says North Korean technicians have been seen working at weapons facilities inside Syria.
A mainly sunny afternoon but with some cloud about in the north and east. A lively wind and very cold with highs mainly ranging between minus 13 and minus 2 degrees.
- Blaise Gauquelin