The European Union has appointed its first president and foreign policy chief following a meeting on Thursday night.

Herman Van Rompuy, Belgium's prime minister, was elected president of the European Council while Catherine Ashton, the EU's trade commissioner, was backed for the foreign policy role.

Ashton, who has never previously been elected to public office, explains to Al Jazeera's Hamish Macdonald why she is best suited to the role.

Source: Al Jazeera