US and EU talked in secret

Published on 17 June 2009 at 09:52

Over a period of three years ending in late 2008, the European Union and the United States held secret talks to establish international rules for the conduct of the fight against terrorism, reveals [Le Monde](http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2009/06/16/le-dialogue-secret-entre-les-etats-unis-et-l-ue-sur-les-normes-de-la-lutte-antiterroriste_1207450_0.html). John Bellinger, the Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State of the United States met with the legal advisers of EU foreign ministers at fourteen meetings, which took place in Strasbourg, Brussels, and New York. On the agenda for discussion were "the excesses of the Bush administration (…), the use of torture, secret detainees, and the Guantanamo prison camp." "The 'Bellinger talks' were launched without the media being notified, at a time when the scandal of secret CIA flights in Europe was making headlines," reports the daily. The meetings forced Europe to specify its position in a document entitled "The Elements," which defines "a framework for EU anti-terrorist cooperation." A copy of this document will shortly be sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The goal is to establish a joint EU—US declaration on shared values and anti-terrorism, by 2010.

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