BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union planners are looking at ways to help stabilize Syria when the civil war is over, and sending an EU military force to keep the peace could be an option, the bloc’s top military officer said on Tuesday.
The EU has a 2,000-strong rapid reaction force, known as a battle group, on standby at all times, ready for peace keeping or humanitarian action in an emergency, but it has never yet been deployed.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – More than two-thirds of countries, including many of the world’s largest arms traders, have inadequate safeguards to prevent corruption in their defense sectors, a survey by an anti-corruption watchdog said on Tuesday.
Germany and Australia are the only countries out of 82 surveyed by Transparency International UK with strong anti-corruption mechanisms, according to what the watchdog says is the first index measuring how governments counter corruption in defense.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The next talks between six global powers and Iran on its nuclear program are likely to be delayed until February, a diplomat said on Friday, after European officials accused Tehran of stalling on fixing a time and place for a meeting.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is coordinating efforts by the powers to persuade Iran to scale back nuclear activity that the West suspects is aimed at developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
BRUSSELS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The first Patriot missile
batteries being sent by NATO countries to defend Turkey from
possible attack from Syria are expected to be in place and ready
for use this weekend, a senior NATO officer said on Wednesday.
The United States, Germany and the Netherlands are each
sending two Patriot batteries and up to 400 soldiers to operate
them after Ankara asked NATO for help to beef up its air
defences against possible missile attack from Syria.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Top military planners on the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan were not asked to give their views on the possibility of all U.S. troops being pulled out of the country after 2014, a senior NATO officer said on Thursday.
The fact that top planners have not been asked for input suggests the so-called “zero option” might not be being looked at seriously by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Sending Patriot missiles to Turkey has a hidden benefit for Europe’s shrinking armed forces: it helps them to justify expensive and little-used weapons systems at a time when their governments are slashing military spending.
The German and Dutch armies have both held media opportunities to show off their deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and up to 400 personnel each in response to Turkey’s request for NATO to bolster security along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria.
VREDEPEEL, The Netherlands (Reuters) – Dozens of camouflaged military trucks streamed out of an army base in the southern Netherlands on Monday carrying Patriot missiles to defend Turkey from what the Dutch defense chief called the real threat of missile attack from Syria.
Five convoys totaling 160 vehicles ferried two Dutch Patriot missile batteries from an army base near Eindhoven to the port of Eemshaven, where they will be loaded onto a ship for a two-week voyage to Turkey.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. soldiers who will man Patriot anti-missile batteries to protect Turkey from the spillover of Syria’s civil war began arriving in the country on Friday, the U.S. military said, but the missiles themselves are due later.
Turkey formally asked NATO for the missiles in November to bolster security along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria, which has been torn by a 21-month insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Union leaders are likely to clash over issues ranging from Syria to trade, energy and human rights on Friday when Putin holds his first talks in Brussels since his re-election as president in May.
Relations between the 27-nation bloc and Russia, its main external supplier of energy and a key trading partner, have been soured by rows over gas pipelines and brewing trade disputes over cars and pigs.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have dropped sharply this year but piracy remains a viable “business model” and could bounce back if international naval forces in the region are cut back, the outgoing commander of the NATO mission said on Monday.
Hijackings of ships in a vast area of the Indian Ocean off Somalia have dropped to seven in the first 11 months of this year compared to 24 in the whole of 2011, although Dutch Commodore Ben Bekkering said 136 hostages were still being held.