Iran General NewsKosovo and Iran dominate Brown's first Brussels visit

Kosovo and Iran dominate Brown’s first Brussels visit


Guardian Unlimited: Gordon Brown will concentrate on foreign policy on his first, brief, official visit to Brussels as prime minister. Guardian Unlimited

Sarah Bridge and agencies
Friday December 14, 2007

Gordon Brown will today concentrate on foreign policy on his first, brief, official visit to Brussels as prime minister.

Brown and his foreign secretary David Miliband will focus during their few hours with other EU leaders on Kosovo, Iran, globalisation and immigration.

With the reform treaty signed yesterday in Lisbon, the formal agenda for the EU summit is almost free of complex internal discussion for the first time in years. The whole gathering is expected to last little more than six hours, making it one of the shortest on record.

On Iran, Brown is likely to seek support for his belief that sanctions are still necessary, despite a recent American report claiming that the Iranians are not currently building nuclear weapons.

Yesterday the prime minister said that he wanted more proof before accepting that Iran is developing its nuclear capabilities purely to generate electricity.

The debate on Kosovo will attempt to establish European unity behind Kosovo’s move to independence, although some member states are wary of supporting a move which is being opposed by Russia at the United Nations.

Brown, who has been under fire for not having made time to visit the European Commission since becoming prime minister, is likely to give cautious backing to the launch of an EU group to look at future EU policy.

Defending Brown against charges that he has been reluctant to engage with the EU, his officials say that he has met the president of the Commission, José Manuel Barroso, at Downing Street, and has spoken to many of the European leaders by phone.

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