EU mulls a common defense

Sept. 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM
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VILNIUS, Lithuania, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Broad cooperation from members of the European Union is needed to ensure a viable state of security, the Lithuanian defense minister said.

More than 300 delegates are expected to take part in an informal meeting on defense policy this week in Vilnius, Lithuania. Lithuania holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Lithuanian Defense Minister Juoza Olekas said his EU counterparts need to find common ground on defense policies.

"I will also stress that EU cooperation with partners is very important for regional security and will urge my colleagues to focus more on EU response to the emerging security challenges," he said in a statement.

Catherine Ashton, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, chairs the two-day meeting.

Defense News reported Wednesday it's obtained a preliminary 18-page report from Ashton highlighting a need for coordinated EU defense strategies.

It says a "convergence of defense capability plans is essential" to address any future threats to European member states.

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