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EU Summit Postponed After Council President Quarantined

FILE - European Council President Charles Michel arrives for an online press conference at the European Council building in Brussels, Sept. 14, 2020.

A spokesman for European Council President Charles Michel says a summit of European Union leaders scheduled for Thursday and Friday has been postponed, after Michel was forced to go into COVID-19 quarantine following contact with an infected security guard.

EU council spokesman Barend Leyts tweeted that Michel learned on Tuesday that a security officer, with whom he was in close contact early last week, tested positive for COVID-19.

Leyts said the EU council president is tested regularly, and as recently as Monday tested negative for COVID-19. But Michel plans to follow Belgium’s COVID-19 regulations and is going into isolation. The EU is headquartered in Brussels.

The summit, now scheduled for Oct. 1-2, will focus on a variety of issues ranging from Brexit negotiations, to climate change, to the tensions between Greece and Turkey over energy rights on the eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. Final approval for sanctions against Belarus regarding the crackdown following the country's contested election last month is also set to be a focus.

Michel, a former Belgian prime minister, spent much of the past week in shuttle diplomacy over the Turkey issue, including trips to Cyprus, the Greek island of Lesbos and Athens.