Johnson set to meet foreign policy peers
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