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UK's new PM promises to renew closer EU t8k8 17ies

歌手排名 | 8k8 17 | Updated: 2024-07-24 14:12:16

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer (center) poses for a family photo with Europe's leaders at the European Political Community Summit at Blenheim Palace on Thursday in Woodstock, Britain. CARL COURT/POOL/REUTERS

The United Kingdom's new prime minister welcomed 47 European national leaders to Blenheim Palace in the English county of Oxfordshire on Thursday, with high hopes that his nation can reset its relationship with its nearest neighbors.

Keir Starmer said ahead of the fourth European Political Community summit that he wanted to build closer ties after years of neglect.

He also planned to push for closer security links with Europe, as well as additional joint action to tackle illegal migration.

"European security is at the forefront of my government's foreign and defense priorities," he said as the summit got underway. "We will only be able to secure our borders, drive economic growth, and defend our democracies if we work together. It's time to reset our relationship with Europe."

Starmer's Labour Party government, which swept to power on July 4 following 14 years of Conservative Party rule, has said it wants a closer relationship with the European Union than that of its predecessor.

The Secretary of State for Business and Trade Jonathan Reynolds shared the same message with counterparts from G7 nations at a gathering in Italy earlier in the week.

The UK's Labour Party government said it also planned to use the summit to push for Europe to continue its support for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia.

But Starmer said his overriding ambition was to renew closer ties with the EU following the nation's withdrawal from the bloc in 2020.

"We cannot let the challenges of the recent past define our relationships of the future," he said. "The EPC (European Political Community) will fire the starting gun on this government's new approach to Europe, one that will not just benefit us now, but for generations to come."

Ahead of the meeting, Starmer laid out his message in an article in the French newspaper Le Monde, in which he said a stronger relationship between the UK and France was also "essential".

"It's true, we are no longer united through the EU, but we are united by so much — as partners in the G7, allies in NATO, colleagues on the UN Security Council and champions of those enduring values," he wrote.

Starmer said he also intended to use the summit to talk about the need for a cease-fire in Gaza and action on climate change.

The UK prime minister got some encouragement as delegates arrived, with Finland's President Alexander Stubb saying "Britain is back in Europe!" and Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs chief, saying "we are going to reset UK-EU relations", although others were less enthusiastic, with Hungary's Viktor Orban saying it was "too early to make an evaluation" about Starmer.

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