World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Commission said Thursday that there was still "no white smoke" on a Brexit deal and set a limit of Sunday for British Prime Minister Theresa May to return to Brussels with an acceptable deal.
"So far no white smoke. We stand ready to receive prime minister May at any moment in time when they are ready," Margaritis Schinas, chief spokesman for commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, told reporters in Brussels.
"But I would like to repeat what President Juncker said on this, namely that this will have to happen this week, in this building. We work for a full week, 24/7, and our week includes Sunday."
Talks between May and Juncker broke up on Monday without a deal after a pro-British party in Northern Ireland that props up the British leader's government objected to a clause about future arrangements for the Irish border.
Time is now running out for a deal on Brexit divorce terms, which would allow the opening of talks on a future trade deal at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on December 14-15.
Schinas dismissed British newspaper reports that the deadline could be extended into next week as "not correct".
Diplomats from the other EU 27 nations are to meet on Monday and would need to see European Council chief Donald Tusk's draft guidelines for opening the next phase of talks then in order to approve them for the summit, he said.
The EU has demanded "sufficient progress" on the divorce issues of the Ireland border with Northern Ireland, Britain's bill for leaving the bloc, and the rights of European citizens in Britain in order to move on to the second stage.
"Every day lost makes this more difficult," he said. "President Juncker is a born optimist... but it takes two to tango, two to be optimist."
But EU sources said it was still possible that European leaders could agree at the summit next week that there had been "sufficient progress", in order to give May a win, while postponing their approval of the guidelines for trade talks.
They could then approve those guidelines at EU summits due in February, or failing that in March, sources said.
"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," Trump said
Here are five takeaways from the news conference that followed their first summit, in the Finnish capital Helsinki:
An abandoned mining town in California went on sale for $ 1.4 million
Roughly 80 percent of Iraq’s crude oil exports originate from oilfields in Basra province
Kerem Shalom is Gaza's only functioning commercial crossing
More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March
Resources strained as thousand crossing into Canada from US
American Civil Liberties Union granted request to halt deportations for one week after reunification
Trump declared that US-Russian relations have turned a corner after a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he described as "open, direct and deeply productive".
Operation is aimed at restoring confidence after last year’s illegitimate poll on Kurdish regional independence
The U.S. State Department is negotiating a potential deal to sell Turkey the Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system as an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system Turkey has agreed to purchase, an official said on Monday.
ISIL still maintains a limited presence in northern and western Iraq
90 more migrants in critical condition found inside shipping containers
Obama arrived in his father's native Kenya on Sunday, where he paid courtesy calls on President Uhuru Kenyatta and main opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Tensions have steadily mounted in southern Iraqi province over unemployment and lack of basic services