John­son set to meet for­eign pol­icy peers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

BRUS­SELS: Bri­tain’s new for­eign sec­re­tary Boris John­son will meet EU for­eign pol­icy chief Fed­er­ica Mogherini to­mor­row evening in Brus­sels but a planned din­ner with John­son’s EU peers has been can­celled.

Mogherini, who chairs EU for­eign min­is­ters’ meet­ings, had planned a din­ner with all 28 min­is­ters to dis­cuss for­eign pol­icy be­fore a break­fast on Mon­day with US sec­re­tary of state John Kerry.

But the two diplo­mats said the min­is­ters felt it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate to have din­ner af­ter the at­tack in France that killed scores of peo­ple.

A third diplo­mat said John­son’s shock ap­point­ment meant few min­is­ters wanted to have din­ner with a man who caused deep of­fence dur­ing Bri­tain’s EU ref­er­en­dum cam­paign by com­par­ing EU aims to unify Europe to those of Adolf Hitler.

“They will meet to­mor­row evening for their first en­counter,” com­mis­sion spokes­woman Cather­ine Ray said of John­son and Mogherini. “There won’t be a din­ner to­mor­row evening.” Mogherini and John­son will have an in­for­mal din­ner, an EU of­fi­cial said.

Hours af­ter John­son was ap­pointed this week, France’s for­eign min­is­ter called John­son a liar and the Ger­man for­eign min­is­ter de­scribed his be­hav­iour as “out­ra­geous”.

On Mon­day, John­son is ex­pected to sit down in a for­mal day-long meet­ing with his EU peers. – Reuters

Boris John­son

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