Bulgaria said it was hopeful of an agreement with Libyan authorities on Monday that would pave the way for the release of six foreign medics convicted of infecting Libyan children with HIV. Prospects for the release of the five Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor appeared to rise after France's first lady and a top European Commission official flew to Libya.
European Union leaders clinched agreement on Saturday on a mandate to overhaul the 27-nation bloc after persuading Poland to end a stand-off that nearly torpedoed a marathon summit. The leaders agreed to negotiate a reform treaty by the end of this year, to be ratified by mid-2009.
Families of foreign medics sentenced to death for infecting Libyan children with the virus that causes Aids urged European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday to help clinch a deal. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were convicted in December of deliberately infecting 426 children.
The European Union agreed on Thursday on a watered-down anti-racism law, reflecting wide divergences among the bloc's 27 states on how to tackle racial prejudice and genocide denial. The bloc struggled for almost six years over proposals for EU-wide legislation.
The European Union and South Africa said on Tuesday they had cleared up the last details in the way of long-planned cuts to tariffs on car exports to each other's markets. The plan was previously agreed and EU countries had now backed its details, an EU official said, adding both sides would seek to implement it by December 1.
The African Union needs increased United Nations support if it is to continue its peacekeeping operation in Darfur, European Commission aid chief Louis Michel said on Monday. ''In the current situation, the AU cannot assume completely the job if it does not have an important contribution from the UN.,'' Michel told reporters at the AU headquarters.
World powers pressed Sudan on Tuesday to accept a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur to replace an ill-equipped African Union force that has been unable to stem the violence that Washington calls genocide. The UN and aid agencies also urged donors at talks in Brussels to finance the 7 000-strong AU force for a few more months.
European and African ministers said on Monday that the waves of illegal migrants seeking a better life in Europe would never be stopped until Europe helps Africa fight poverty. The ministers, meeting in Rabat to reach a plan on migration, were from 50 nations -- grouping for the first time countries where migrants start out from, transit countries and the destinations.
The European Union (EU) executive commission hopes to convince member states to spend more than â,¬6-billion on regional infrastructure in Africa from 2008 to 2013, a Commission official said. The executive has drawn up maps of road, energy, water and information technology networks in Africa, highlighting missing links which could be closed with EU financing, the official said.