DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland (Reuters) – NATO plans to sharply increase the size of its exercises in Europe in coming years to ensure allies keep working smoothly together despite winding down combat operations in Afghanistan, senior NATO commanders said on Thursday.
More than 40,000 soldiers may take part in war games planned for Spain and Portugal in 2015, according to U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Frederick Hodges, NATO’s land forces commander.
ADAZI, Latvia, Nov 6 (Reuters) – NATO’s top military
commander urged Turkey on Wednesday to buy a missile defence
system that is compatible with other NATO systems, questioning
whether the $3.4 billion Chinese system that Ankara is leaning
towards is suitable.
The comments by U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove,
NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, add to pressure on
Ankara to rethink its decision to build a missile defence system
with a Chinese firm.
ADAZI, Latvia, Nov 6 (Reuters) – NATO is staging its biggest
military exercise in seven years this week in the Baltic
countries and Poland but its insistence that the drills are not
aimed at sharpening defences against a resurgent Russia have not
NATO says the exercise, involving 6,000 soldiers from the
alliance as well as non-members Sweden, Finland and Ukraine, is
based on a fictional scenario in which troops from the imaginary
state of Bothnia invade Estonia in a crisis sparked by
competition for energy resources and economic collapse.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey and the European Union began a new round of membership talks on Tuesday months after EU member states delayed them in protest over a Turkish crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
EU and Turkish negotiators spoke optimistically about a new momentum in Turkey’s long-stalled membership drive after they met in Brussels to begin talks on a new chapter, or policy area, of accession talks, the first opened in more than three years.
BRUSSELS/PRISTINA (Reuters) – NATO and the European Union on Monday condemned violence that took place during a weekend election in Kosovo that many had hoped would help end ethnic divisions but ended up underscoring the strength of Serb resistance instead.
Voting on Sunday in a small Serb pocket of the majority-Albanian country was halted after masked men attacked polling stations at three locations on the Serb side of the ethnically-divided town of Mitrovica, lobbing tear gas and smashing ballot boxes.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders rebuffed calls from southern European states on Friday for emergency action to tackle a wave of illegal migration from Africa despite the deaths of hundreds of people in Mediterranean boat disasters.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels expressed “deep sadness” at the drownings, which have killed up to 550 migrants this month alone, but postponed any new action until December.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO has agreed the outline of a military force it intends to keep in Afghanistan after its combat mission there ends next year, but troop numbers remain uncertain due to ongoing talks between Washington and Kabul.
NATO defense ministers endorsed a “strategic planning assessment” on Wednesday, setting out command and control arrangements and the capabilities needed for the mission that the alliance says will have a training and advisory role, U.S. and NATO officials said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO and Russia could play a role in eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles if they were asked to do so by the United Nations, said U.S., NATO and Russian officials on Wednesday.
The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons was discussed at a meeting of NATO and Russian defense ministers in Brussels, the first such meeting in two years.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany called for closer military integration between groups of NATO countries on Tuesday as the alliance grappled with how to keep its defenses strong at a time of falling military spending.
Germany’s proposal, discussed by NATO defense ministers at a Brussels meeting, is that big NATO nations act as “framework nations” leading a cluster of smaller NATO allies.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi urged Europe and the United States on Monday to press Myanmar to reform what she said was an undemocratic constitution, partly because it effectively bars women from running for president.
The Myanmar (Burmese) opposition leader, in Luxembourg to meet European Union foreign ministers, said the constitution stipulates that the president must have military experience, thus excluding women.