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Saturday February 29th, 2020 4:32AM

The Latest: EU leaders break deadlock, nominate new chiefs

By The Associated Press
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BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the European Union summit (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

European Union leaders have broken three days of deadlock and nominated new heads for the 28-nation bloc's institutions.

European Council President Donald Tusk said in a series of tweets Tuesday that German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been backed to become president of the executive European Commission, and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel the head of the European Council.

Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde has been nominated as the head of the European Central Bank and Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as EU foreign policy chief.

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7 p.m.

German European Union lawmaker Manfred Weber says he's resigning as lead candidate for the center-right European People's Party, the biggest group in the EU parliament, ending his run for one of Europe's top jobs.

Weber's spokesman tweeted that Weber told EPP colleagues in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday that "this is where my journey started last September as lead candidate, and this is where it ends."

The Bavarian lawmaker was backed by leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel to take over as president of the EU's powerful executive arm, the European Commission, for the next five years.

Weber was long considered favorite to take over from Jean-Claude Juncker from November.

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4:35 p.m.

European Union leaders are considering a list of top job candidates that would have German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen become president of the executive European Commission and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel the head of the European Council.

A diplomat close to the negotiations called the names "a point of departure" as EU leaders reconvened Tuesday for a formal summit after two days of negotiations.

The 28 leaders of member countries had a previous package of candidates on Monday but it fell apart when the list was vetted for final approval by the prime ministers and presidents.

The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the approval process was ongoing. 

The new list has Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde as the head of the European Central Bank and Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as EU foreign policy chief. 

-By Raf Casert. 

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12:05 p.m.

European Council President Donald Tusk is delaying the start of a summit in Brussels to consult with EU leaders in an attempt to overcome the impasse over appointments to the bloc's top jobs.

Tusk spokesman Preben Aamann tweeted Tuesday that the summit will begin at 1 p.m. Brussels time (1100 GMT), two hours later than planned, and that the meeting chairman "continues his consultations."

Camera operators and photographers have not been allowed in to film any of the deliberations.

The summit started Sunday and broke up in acrimony at lunch time on Monday.

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10:25 a.m.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis says getting Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans to lead the EU's executive Commission will be not be acceptable to several eastern member states and Italy. 

Arriving for the third of an EU summit, Babis said "we want a Commission chief with whom we can discuss normally."

Timmermans, he said has had "a negative view of region" during his time as an EU Commission vice president.

East European countries have taken much of the blame for the failure of EU leaders to agree on who should succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission president for the coming five years.

Babis said "our problem is only one name, and our colleagues didn't understand this for 24 hours," in a pointed reference to the failed all-night negotiating session that ended Monday. 

EU leaders are gathering again to try to forge a consensus on who should lead the Commission as well as other top jobs within the EU.

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10 a.m.

European Union leaders are gathering again to try to overcome an embarrassing deadlock over a series of job nominations to key posts at the bloc for at least the next five years.

In one of the longest EU summits in recent years, the leaders are looking Tuesday to name a new president of the EU's powerful executive arm, the European Commission, a president of the European Council and a foreign policy chief.

The European Parliament is set to vote Wednesday on its new president, while the new chairman of the European Central Bank could be named later.

The leaders are struggling to show the EU is still relevant and coherent after the bloc's two traditional center-right and left powers lost votes in May's European elections.

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