Brussels, Oct. 1, (dpa/GNA) – The 27 EU leaders have begun their second day of the European summit to discuss the bloc’s strategic outlook, after long hours of negotiations on their first day that culminated in a breakthrough in sanctions on Belarus.
The second day of the summit, headed by European Council President Charles Michel, began just before 10 am (0800 GMT) on Friday, his spokesperson announced.
The main topics on the agenda are the European Union’s relations with China, how to boost the internal market, and the bloc’s digital strategy.
No concrete agreements are expected on these issues on Friday, according to EU diplomats.
Early Friday morning, Cyprus dropped its veto on issuing sanctions against Belarus, in exchange for warning Turkey that sanctions might follow if it broke international law again.
For Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s prime minister, the agreement is a « clear message of unity, solidarity, and determination. »
« Greece is absolutely satisfied with the conclusions of the summit, » he said on Friday.
Nicosia had been blocking the measures – agreed in August in response to election fraud and human rights abuses in Belarus – and demanding further sanctions on Turkey for its gas exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
The two issues are not directly related, but Cyprus had argued the EU must act consistently when responding to the violation of core principles.
The countries agreed to reassess the situation at the end of the year.
The leaders might also touch upon the contentious rule-of-law issue, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said before heading into the meeting on Friday.