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Sep 18, 2013

NATO chief urges Europe to fill drone, aircraft gaps

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Anders
Fogh Rasmussen will urge Europe on Thursday to step up its
commitment to defence by buying more surveillance drones,
transport and tanker aircraft and strengthening its fragmented
defence industry.

Senior U.S. officials, and Rasmussen himself, have expressed
growing concern that defence cuts pushed through by
cash-strapped European governments have created a big gulf
between U.S. and European military capabilities and risk
weakening NATO.

Sep 18, 2013

NATO plans major east European exercise, reassures Russia

BRUNSSUM, The Netherlands (Reuters) – After years of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, NATO plans a major exercise in eastern Europe in November to brush up its conventional warfare skills, but insists it is not practicing with Cold War foe Russia in mind.

Exercise “Steadfast Jazz” in Latvia and Poland from November 2-9 shows the 28-nation alliance refocusing on its core task of defending its own territory as it winds down its long combat mission in Afghanistan.

Sep 18, 2013

Americans, Europeans oppose Syria intervention: poll

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A majority of Europeans and Americans strongly oppose their countries intervening militarily in Syria’s 30-month-old civil war, according to a transatlantic poll published on Wednesday.

“Transatlantic Trends”, an annual survey of public opinion in the United States and Europe, also found that China’s image in both continents was deteriorating and most Europeans did not want to see Beijing take strong leadership in world affairs.

Sep 17, 2013

EU to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe diamond mining firm

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The European Union agreed on
Tuesday to lift sanctions on a Zimbabwean diamond-mining firm
despite concerns over alleged fraud in a July election that kept
President Robert Mugabe in power.

The 28-nation bloc has begun the process of removing
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) from the
sanctions list, EU foreign affairs spokesman Michael Mann said.

Sep 17, 2013

EU to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe diamond mining firm

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The European Union agreed on
Tuesday to lift sanctions on a Zimbabwean diamond-mining firm
despite concerns over alleged fraud in a July election that kept
President Robert Mugabe in power.

The 28-nation bloc has begun the process of removing
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) from the
sanctions list, EU foreign affairs spokesman Michael Mann said.

Sep 16, 2013

Donors pledge 1.8 billion euros for Somalia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International donors promised Somalia 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in reconstruction aid on Monday to back a three-year plan aimed at strengthening the country’s economy and building up its fragile security.

Somali leaders and about 50 international delegations met in Brussels to endorse the plan, which includes steps to build a justice system, foster political dialogue and improve day-to-day security after decades of debilitating civil war.

Sep 7, 2013

EU blames Assad for chemical attack in nuanced message

VILNIUS (Reuters) – The European Union on Saturday laid the blame for an August chemical attack in Syria on the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but stopped short of explicitly supporting a military response by the West.

The carefully worded message from foreign ministers of 28 EU governments meeting in Vilnius allowed France to claim victory in its push to get the EU to agree that Assad was responsible for the attack in which more than 1,400 may have been killed.

Sep 6, 2013

France seeks EU backing for Syria stance but meets scepticism

VILNIUS (Reuters) – France, which backs military action to punish Syria for a deadly chemical weapons attack, tried to rally support from its European Union partners on Friday but met scepticism from governments wary of turning their backs on the United Nations.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius sought agreement from EU counterparts meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius that President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible for an August 21 gas attack that the United States says killed more than 1,400 people, a source close to Fabius said.

Sep 6, 2013

Sweden lashes out at Russian “economic warfare” in east Europe

VILNIUS (Reuters) – Sweden accused Russia on Friday of waging “economic warfare” against former Soviet republics that have been considering closer trade relations with the European Union and said the EU needed a strategy to resist Moscow.

The EU is planning to take steps towards signing trade deals with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova at a summit of regional and EU leaders in November in Lithuania, and could seal a similar agreement with Ukraine.

Sep 6, 2013

EU, Iran to prepare nuclear diplomacy during U.N. meeting

VILNIUS (Reuters) – The European Union and Iran will discuss a resumption of nuclear negotiations during a United Nations gathering this month, possibly setting a date for a new round of talks aimed ultimately at preventing a new Middle East war.

Talks between Iran and six world powers overseen by the EU’s top diplomat have been stalled since April. The West is keen to resume them with Iran having elected a moderate president but still expanding its uranium enrichment capacity and Israel brandishing hints of bombing runs on Iranian nuclear sites.

    • About Adrian

      "I am part of Reuters UK reporting team, writing mainly about UK politics and foreign policy. My previous postings with Reuters were in Spain, Belgium, the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and South Africa."
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