EU, Arab League agree to disagree over meeting statement

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, centre, talks to counterparts during an EU-Arab League ministerial meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

BRUSSELS - The European Union and Arab League say they agree on tackling conflicts in Syria and Yemen or stalled Middle East peace efforts but were unable to approve a joint statement at talks in Brussels.

The organizations' ministers were preparing Monday for a summit in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Feb 24-25.

Asked about the holdup, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said "common ground was there on 90-95 per cent of issues."

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit pointed out that there were "more complications on the European side rather than the Arab side."

Mogherini replied: "I would say rather the contrary."

Hungary objects to migration provisions in the statement, but the Europeans also want to avoid being seated around a summit table with Syria or Sudan's leaders.

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