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Six EU countries join group to 'destroy' Islamic State

07.09.14 @ 12:41

Six EU countries have joined a US-led coalition to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State [IS] in Iraq and Syria. The “Core Group” came together at the Nato summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday (5-6 September). On ...

Putin-Poroshenko meeting raises EU hopes

06.06.14 @ 17:24

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Petro Poroshenko in France is a “good sign” which amounts to “de facto recognition” of Ukraine’s new, pro-Western leader, EU sources say. The two men met on their way into ...

OpinionNew MEPs must tackle conflict minerals

04.06.14 @ 09:23

Europe’s nearly half a billion consumers are driving a rising global demand for minerals such as tungsten, tantalum, and gold. These minerals, used in many consumer products such as phones and cars, are fought over by ...

OpinionCourt decision on post-war amnesties is lesson for EU

04.06.14 @ 09:19

The EU is a leading actor in ending armed conflicts. Efforts to provide truth, justice and reparations for victims and societies after mass violence (known as "transitional justice") are now routinely viewed as key to ...

Syrians and Russians top asylum demands to EU

25.03.14 @ 09:29

Syrians fleeing war and Russians topped the list of those asking for asylum in the EU last year. Figures released on Monday (24 March) from the EU statistical office, Eurostat, reveal Syrians top the list of asylum ...

FeatureDresden: Bombs, neo-Nazis and Kurt Vonnegut

14.02.14 @ 17:39

Slaughterhouse Five nowadays is called Halle Funf. It is a fair ground - conferences, exhibitions, concerts. Walking down one staircase, a wardrobe opens up. "There used to be meat hooks, now there are coat hooks," says ...

EU refreshes diplomatic contacts with Iran

07.08.13 @ 09:29

The EU has reacted to Iran's appeal for better ties with a series of informal meetings and friendly statements. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius met with Iran's ambassador to France, Ali Ahani, in Paris on Tuesday ...

OpinionIran election creates opportunity for better EU ties

17.06.13 @ 11:49

Hassan Rohani, a moderate cleric, just won Iran's 11th presidential elections. The result is a surprise and marks the end of the eight-year chapter of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government. Scooping 50.71 ...

Russia and UK collide on Syria ahead of G8

17.06.13 @ 09:28

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has rebuked EU countries over plans to give weapons to human-heart-eating radicals in Syria. Speaking at a press event in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday (16 June ...

EU countries outgunned on arms trade

18.03.13 @ 09:29

Arms sales to European countries have fallen by over 20 percent since the financial crisis, according to a report released on Monday (18 March). An annual survey by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( ...

Burma President in Brussels to lobby against sanctions

05.03.13 @ 09:20

Burma’s president Thein Sein is in Brussels on Tuesday (5 March) to convince EU leaders to drop sanctions despite allegations of ongoing human rights violations and escalating sectarian violence. The EU suspended ...

EU offers Syria rebels 'non-lethal' equipment

01.03.13 @ 09:27

The European Union on Thursday (28 February) agreed to supply Syria’s opposition, the Syrian National Coalition, with "non-lethal military equipment." The amended arms embargo will allow for “the provision of non-lethal ...

EU should arm Mali soldiers, French general says

21.02.13 @ 09:29

The head of the EU training mission to Mali (EUTM) says the EU should run a parallel programme to better equip and arm Malian troops. “The European Union needs to invest today in the equipping of the Malian army and not ...

InterviewFrench colonel: France better off alone in Mali

25.01.13 @ 17:30

A senior French military officer has said France is better off without Nato or EU help to "reconquer" north Mali. Colonel Michel Goya, a serving officer and an expert at the Institut de Recherche Strategique de l'Ecole ...

InterviewMali mission could up risk of anti-EU terrorism

23.01.13 @ 16:50

A top counter-terrorism official has said the EU military training mission in Mali will increase the risk of revenge attacks in Europe. Asked by EUobserver on Tuesday (22 January) if France's intervention in Mali could ...

Europeans taken hostage over Mali war

17.01.13 @ 09:23

EU foreign ministers on Thursday (17 January) are holding a crisis meeting on Mali, after one British citizen was killed and 41 internationals taken hostage at a British-Norwegian gas plant in Algeria in retaliation ...

OpinionLiving up to the Nobel: EU must act on Syria

10.12.12 @ 09:06

Catherine Ashton's mandate is to provide leadership on foreign policy and human rights. She has failed, however, to ensure a collective EU voice for bringing the crimes in Syria before the International Criminal Court ( ...

UN appoints 'big EU name' for Sahel job

11.10.12 @ 09:29

The UN has hired mild-mannered former European Commission and Italian leader Romano Prodi to help pacify west Africa. UN chief Ban Ki Moon and President Francois Hollande of France, a former colonial power in the region ...

China tells EU to end arms ban

20.09.12 @ 12:19

Chinese leader Wen Jiabao has bluntly told the EU to drop its ban on arms sales. He made the call in his opening remarks to top EU officials Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso at a summit in a stately home in ...

OpinionNagorno-Karabakh: on the knife's edge

18.09.12 @ 08:39

A mere two weeks ago the name Ramil Safarov was meaningless to most people. Today he is the cause of a diplomatic storm between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Hungary which has sucked in the US, Russia and the EU and deepened ...

EU reviews safety of Libya diplomats

13.09.12 @ 09:29

The EU's foreign service is considering whether to temporarily close its office in Benghazi after the killing of the US ambassador to Libya in the city on Tuesday (11 September). The small EU unit, a secure building ...

Greece spooked by Syrian refugees

02.08.12 @ 18:13

The surge of Syrian refugees into Turkey has spooked Greece into deploying 1,881 additional guards on its border. "The deployment of the above border guards has begun today. They will be stationed there [in the Evros ...

Countdown begins to EU oil ban on Iran

20.06.12 @ 18:33

EU countries will stop buying Iranian oil on 1 July after nuclear negotiators left talks in Moscow empty-handed. "The Iranians seemed to be under the impression that if they made some sort of vague undertaking, ...

EU and US at odds over Iran's role in Syria

18.06.12 @ 09:13

EU diplomats disagree with the US and Israel on whether Iran should join a Contact Group on Syria. UN emissary Kofi Annan last week called for the formation of a body akin to the one which steered events in the Balkans ...

'Normal' shooting resumes in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

11.06.12 @ 22:06

The string of recent killings in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict is nothing unusual, EU diplomats in the region say. Armenia last week accused Azerbaijan of killing four of its soldiers in cross border raids. Azerbaijan ...

Nuclear weapons more modern, fewer in number

04.06.12 @ 09:26

The Stockholm-based arms-control institute, Sipri, released a report on Monday (4 June) claiming nuclear warheads are fewer in number but are increasingly more sophisticated. The United States, Russia, the United ...

LetterEUobserver gives one-sided view of Azerbaijan

01.06.12 @ 09:29

I would like to take issue with EUobserver over two articles by Andrew Rettman entitled "Accidental war waiting to happen on EU periphery" on 14 May and "Azerbaijani lobbyists target EU opinion" on 24 May. When writing ...

France says Syria air strikes a possibility

30.05.12 @ 09:21

French leader Francois Hollande has said military action in Syria is possible if the UN agrees, as EU countries expelled ambassadors. He spoke on national TV on Tuesday (29 May) following UN confirmation that Syrian ...

Azerbaijani lobbyists target EU opinion

24.05.12 @ 18:01

Azerbaijan beats up journalists, jails political opponents and bulldozes people's homes to build shopping malls, according to the latest resolution by the European Parliament. It is run "in a manner similar to the ...

'Accidental war' waiting to happen on EU periphery

14.05.12 @ 10:25

If or when a full-blown conflict erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it will probably begin like this. According to a senior source in the Armenian defence ministry, on 27 April Azerbaijani troops sneaked over the ...

InvestigationEU to spend €50mn on private security in Afghanistan

11.05.12 @ 09:24

The EU's external action service (EEAS) plans to spend up to €50 million on private security guards for its Afghanistan mission over the next four years. It unveiled the tender on Thursday (10 May), saying the money ...

EU arms trade booming despite crisis

27.02.12 @ 09:28

Firms in the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Europe's own European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company made around €75 billion from selling weapons in 2010. In broader terms, the world arms trade is ...

EU firms join gold rush on drones

17.02.12 @ 09:16

EU firms have joined the gold rush on military and civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). But ethical and legal questions dog the technology. The global UAV market is worth $6 billion (€4.6bn) a year and will hit $12 ...

VideoIsraeli minister: EU reports are 'Israel bashing'

26.01.12 @ 17:36

He said the surveys do not promote peace and are part of a decades-long "attempt to undermine [Israel's] very legitimacy." He added: "Giving the accurate picture helps when looking for a solution."

VideoEU sanctions would rally support for Iran regime, MEP warns

18.01.12 @ 18:28

Nuclear expert, the head of the Iran delegation in the European Parliament and Finnish Green MEP Tarja Cronberg is against an EU oil embargo on Iran. She says power-politics could lead to military clashes in the Strait ...

VideoMEPs consider how to further pressure Syria's leader

08.12.11 @ 12:17

The EU recently extended its sanctions on Syria but with the crackdown against protesters continuing, MEPs have been asking Syrian opposition groups what more can be done to pressurise President Bashar Al Assad. ...

French expert: There will be no military strike on Iran

09.11.11 @ 09:26

Publication of UN evidence on Tuesday (8 November) that Iran is making nuclear weapons and recent Israeli war-talk is designed to stimulate new sanctions but is not a prelude to military strikes, a French expert has ...

US and France point to upcoming action on Iran

04.11.11 @ 10:28

US President Barack Obama and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy have indicated that an upcoming UN report on Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme could trigger new international action. Speaking alongside Sarkozy in a ...