Here’s the readout from the EU side after today’s remarkable meeting between the EU and Turkish presidents in Ankara.

Some describing this as a last-ditch effort to improve relations, which have badly deteriorated.…
"The Rule of law and respect of fundamental rights are core values of the EU. We shared with President Erdogan our deep worries on the latest developments in Turkey in this respect," says President @CharlesMichel.
"The EU has a strategic interest in developing a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey."

"At the same time, we are determined to defend EU and Member States’ interests and to promote our values."
"We extend our hand with our progressive agenda. It’s up to Turkey to seize this opportunity in a solid and sustainable manner. For its part, EU is ready to walk the talk. We will assess progress at our European Council meeting in June."

More background:…

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More from @DaveKeating

4 Apr
Funny how the British media didn’t mock up wanted posters for Justin Trudeau after Canada restricted the use of #AstraZeneca last week... Image
Meanwhile the news in the United States for the UK-based company is going from bad to worse.

The only UK coverage of this I’ve seen is from Reuters. Similarly little coverage of US rebuke of AZ efficacy data last month.

It’s like there’s a UK media blackout on bad AZ news.
What’s behind this?

Perhaps it’s the nationalism that’s been attached to this company by UK politicians & media. Perhaps it’s fear of discouraging people from getting it.

But when the company charged with distributing it messes up, it doesn’t mean Oxford vaccine itself is bad.
Read 5 tweets
25 Mar
I think last night's joint UK&EC statement is being misinterpreted in UK as some kind of peace in our time declaration.

It's a positive sign, but really it just said they were throwing in the towel for the night on negotiations for a vaccine-sharing deal to avoid an export ban.
The statement contained reassuring language showing both sides are trying to reduce the temperature. But the EU threat of an export ban is still very much on the table until a vaccine-sharing deal is agreed.

For that, "We will continue our discussions". But time is running out.
A deal with reciprocity in exports needs to be reached by start of #EUCO summit at 1pm today in order to take export ban threat off the table.

If not, EU PMs and presidents could today back the export ban idea in their conclusions. Frantic London-Brussels negotiations continue.
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar
Speaking to press after #NATO summit, @ABlinken asked if he could answer allies questions on if Biden will cancel Trump's US troop pullout deal with the #Taliban.

"The diplomacy on #Afghanistan has been moving forward, even as we’ve been reviewing the question of May 1 deadline"
"I don’t want to get into hypotheticals about what the Taliban may or may not do, what we may or may not do. This is a very active review.

It’s now fully informed by the views of our allies, and that was really what our goal was coming here, to make sure that we could do that."
"I think we found a very positive reception here from allies and partners, so I’ll take that for today and for this week. (Laughter) That may not last forever, but in all seriousness, it was extremely gratifying."
Read 5 tweets
24 Mar
VP @VDombrovskis unveils expansion of EU's vaccine export mechanism to ensure exports are reciprocal.

“Europe has taken every step to act fairly & responsibly, mindful of our global leadership role, since the start of the pandemic. EU remains biggest global exporter of vaccines"
"If a country of destination which has a large production capacity restricts its own exports of vaccines or vaccine substances, either by law or by other means, it may be appropriate to consider whether exports of vaccines to this country are justified," says Dombrovskis.
"In addition, some countries previously exempted will be included in the scope of the as to avoid possible circumvention of the rules"

"Exports to low and middle income countries remain unconditionally exempted"
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar
Thread: Today the Commission will pre-empt tomorrow's #EUCO summit and expand EU vaccine export mechanism so it can block exports because they're going to countries that aren't exporting back.

Up till now the only way to block was if company hasn't met EU delivery commitments.
"After all the discussions the president had with leaders of member states, I see no reason not to move forward now," an EU official says.

In other words, majority support from national capitals already seems assured.
The other big change is EU's neighbours (Switzerland, Serbia, Israel, etc) will no longer be exempt from export declarations (but developing COVAX countries will be).

"With a strengthened system, there is always the risk of circumvention." Designed to stop vaccines sneaking out.
Read 8 tweets
23 Mar
This much is very clear:

If UK doesn't reach a deal with EU to allow #AstraZeneca to start exporting vaccine doses from its 2 🇬🇧 sites to 🇪🇺, the EU will block any attempt by AZ to ship doses made in 🇪🇺 to 🇬🇧 to make up for UK's current shortfall.
Dutch officials are saying they will block any proposed shipment from the AZ Helix plant to UK unless some kind of sharing deal with UK is reached.

If a deal proves impossible, "the Dutch government can be expected to follow the Commission in its verdict"…
For two months the UK's apparent Britain First contract with #AstraZeneca has been used to prevent doses from the two 🇬🇧 facilities going to 🇪🇺 as AZ struggled to meet EU delivery schedule.

Now the shoe is on the other foot: the UK is the one who needs doses from the EU.
Read 4 tweets

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