World Bulletin / News Desk
Theresa May vowed Thursday that Britain will play a full part in the European Union until it leaves, as the bloc's president promised the prime minister's first EU summit would be a "nest of doves".
The Conservative leader will use the meeting in Brussels to update EU counterparts on her plan to start formal exit talks by the end of March, paving the way for Britain to leave the bloc by early 2019.
But as she arrived to take the seat formerly occupied by David Cameron, she made clear Brexit was not the only issue on the table, calling for a "robust and united" EU response to Russia's "atrocities" in Syria.
May was excluded from last month's summit of 27 leaders in Bratislava, but EU president Donald Tusk played down speculation that the two day meeting in Brussels would be a frosty affair.
"Some media described her first meeting in the European Council as entering the lion's den. It's not true. It's more like a nest of doves," he told reporters.
"She'll be absolutely safe with us. And I hope that she will also realise that the European Union is simply the best company in the world."
However, he repeated that there would be no negotiations before Britain triggers Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon treaty, which begins a two-year countdown to leaving.Last Mod: 20 Ekim 2016, 16:52