Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ashdown "Considered" for Top Balkans Job

| 02 June 2010 |
Paddy Ashdown
Paddy Ashdown

Paddy Ashdown, a British politician and former High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, is reportedly being considered for a role as a European special envoy for the Balkans, while EU leaders have said that such a post is not currently under discussion.

British daily The Guardian cited senior sources in Brussels as saying that it was possible that Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, would be appointed to a new post in the region, the establishment of which is reportedly to be discussed at today's EU-Western Balkans summit in Sarajevo.

According to the report, Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign and security policy chief, will discuss Ashdown's possible appointment at dinner in London on Thursday night with William Hague, the British foreign secretary.

Meanwhile Ashton told reporters before today's EU-Western Balkans summit in Sarajevo that the topic was not “anything I had serious discussions about”.

“It is not yet on my agenda,” she added. Her comments were echoed by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who responded to the suggestion with “I do not think so…I do not see that”.

Hague’s office is headed by Arminka Helic, a Conservative party foreign policy analyst and a Bosnian Muslim who fled the country during the war, and who is a keen supporter of Ashdown, according to the British daily.

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