BRUSSELS, Nov 19 (Reuters) - A majority of European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to appoint Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy as EU president and Britain’s Catherine Ashton as foreign affairs chief, senior diplomats said.
“There is a consensus. The largest centre-right governments and Socialist leaders have reached a deal,” one diplomat familiar with the negotiations told Reuters. Several other diplomats confirmed the deal, which must still be finalised.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown earlier withdrew his support for former Prime Minister Tony Blair to become EU president, Brown’s spokesman said, opening the way for a compromise in which Ashton, the EU’s trade commissioner, will become the high representative for foreign affairs.
Reporting by Darren Ennis and Julien Toyer, editing by Luke Baker