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von der leyen: EU announces defence summit, more aid after Afghan collapse – Times of India

STRASBOURG, FRANCE: Europe will search to spice up its personal navy capability after the collapse of the US-backed authorities in Afghanistan, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen stated Wednesday, saying a defence summit.
“It’s time for Europe to step as much as the following stage,” von der Leyen advised the European Parliament, in her annual State of the European Union tackle.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron will convene the “summit on European defence” throughout France’s six-month presidency of the bloc, beginning on the New 12 months, she stated.
Paris has been main the push for the 27-nation union to develop extra autonomous navy capacities alongside the Western alliance, which is historically led by the US.
And the speedy collapse of Afghanistan’s authorities on the finish of the 20-year-old US-led mission in Afghanistan has intensified debate in Brussels’ concerning the EU’s position.
However most EU nations are additionally members of the NATO alliance and a few, notably jap states extra uncovered to threats Russia, don’t wish to undermine ties with the US.
“Witnessing occasions unfold in Afghanistan was profoundly painful for the households and pals of fallen servicemen and servicewomen,” von der Leyen stated.
“Now we have to replicate on how this mission may finish so abruptly. There are deeply troubling questions that allies should deal with inside NATO.
“However there’s merely no safety and defence situation the place much less cooperation is the reply.”
Von der Leyen vowed to work with NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg on a brand new EU-NATO joint declaration to be offered earlier than the tip of the yr.
The EU’s video feed of von der Leyen’s tackle confirmed an image of standing side-by-side and smiling with the NATO chief, however Stoltenberg has expressed scepticism over an autonomous EU technique.
“Any try to ascertain parallel buildings, duplicate the command construction, that can weaken our joint functionality to work collectively,” Stoltenberg advised UK every day The Telegraph final week.
Within the quick time period, the EU chief pledged a further 100 million euros ($118 million) in humanitarian help to Afghanistan because the bloc grapples with the rapid fall-out of the Taliban’s takeover.
“We should do every little thing to avert the actual danger that’s on the market of a serious famine and humanitarian catastrophe,” she stated, insisting Europe “stands by the Afghan folks”.
The brand new promise comes after the European Fee — the EU government — already quadrupled its humanitarian help to Afghanistan for this yr to 200 million euros because the nation struggles to stave off collapse after the Taliban’s takeover.
Brussels has stated that not one of the help will go to Afghanistan’s new rulers and has demanded the Taliban guarantee entry for humanitarian employees within the nation.
Von der Leyen stated the EU would set out in full its “new, wider Afghan help bundle” within the coming weeks.
In a wide-ranging speech, von der Leyen centered on bloc’s restoration from the coronavirus pandemic and energy to spice up inoculations across the globe.
She stated the EU would donate one other 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to low-income nations, greater than doubling its current pledge.
“With lower than one p.c of worldwide doses administered in low revenue nations, the size of injustice and the extent of urgency is apparent,” she stated.
On the financial entrance, von der Leyen insisted that the bloc wouldn’t repeat the error of the 2007-2008 monetary disaster by imposing sudden budgetary austerity because it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Noting that final time it took the EU eight years to get again to pre-crisis ranges, Ursula von der Leyen advised the European Parliament in her annual State of the European Union tackle: “We won’t repeat that mistake.”
She known as the monetary disaster “a cautionary story” through which “Europe declared victory too quickly and we paid the value for that”.

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