Thursday

23rd May 2019

EU police in Afghanistan would be 'welcome', leaders told

The prospect of EU policemen going to Afghanistan to train locals became a shade more realistic at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday (14 December), with EU top diplomat Javier Solana telling European leaders that Kabul would welcome the mission.

Mr Solana's report - delivered at dinner on the invitation of Finnish PM Matti Vanhanen - was based on his preliminary meeting with a team of EU experts who have been touring the war-torn country for the past two weeks in order to prepare a more formal recommendation on the question next year.

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"The Afghans are saying: we think support from the EU in this field would be very welcome," Mr Solana's spokeswoman told press. "All of the EU's partners there - NATO, the UN, NGOs - are also open to having an EU presence in the area of creating a police force."

She warned that nothing may in the end come from the positive report however, saying "it will be a polictial decision on whether the EU mission would add any value here" with 19 EU member states including the UK, Germany, France and Poland already putting a mix of military and police forces in place.

The potential mission envisaged by Europe would be a small force doing training-work only, the spokeswoman added. "The EU is not going to send thousands [of people]...NATO takes leadership and anything we might do would be to support the security forces already there."

The EU summit dinner is also preparing a separate, broader EU statement on Afghanistan, which is likely to echo last Monday's foreign ministers' ideas: confirming continued EU "engagement" with international stabilisation and redevelopment efforts and noting the EU has already given €3.7 billion in aid.

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

EU urges US not to start war with Iran

Europe's top diplomats have said US actions risked triggering a conflict with Iran, as America makes plans to pour troops into Middle East in echoes of Iraq war.

EU-Sahel talks next week amid 'unprecedented attacks'

Officials from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are meeting EU foreign, defence, and development ministers next week in Brussels. The visit comes amid "unprecedented levels" of armed attacks, says the UN.

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Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

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