EU defence reviewed as Georgia mission starts smoothly

European Union defence ministers agreed Wednesday to pool some of their military resources at a time of global economic slowdown, as the bloc's delicate monitoring mission in Georgia began without major hitches, dpa reported.

Ministers also agreed to dispatch an anti-pirate warship fleet to Somalia and effectively declared "mission accomplished" in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The two-day informal meeting was taking place in the French seaside resort of Deauville, just 20 kilometres away from the D-Day beaches where US, British and Canadian forces landed on June 6, 1944 in a drive to liberate Europe from the Nazi occupation of World War II.

Ministers had been invited by the French presidency of the EU to help build up the bloc's military capabilities and review its military operations in Bosnia and Chad.

But the gathering in Normandy also coincided with the day in which 200 EU monitors, flanked by 150 support staff, began patrolling Georgia to ensure that a ceasefire deal brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on September 8 is enforced.

Initial reports out of the South Caucasus indicated that the observers had experienced initial difficulties while trying to enter buffer zones around South Ossetia and Abkhazia controlled by Russian forces.

But the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, told ministers in Deauville that the mission had "began very well" and was "moving forward positively".

Earlier, his spokesman Cristina Gallach had said the monitors were able to "enter the buffer zones, as foreseen."

Ministers then reviewed the EU's two most important military operations, in Chad and Bosnia.

EUFOR Chad, which with 3,700 soldiers from 23 member states is the bloc's biggest ever, is to be replaced in March by a United Nations mission consisting of 6,000 soldiers.

The ministers of France, Sweden, Poland, Ireland and the Netherlands all indicated in Deauville that they were willing to keep their troops in place with a UN hat, boosting the future's mission prospects of success.

Ministers also agreed to gradually scale down the bloc's four-year-old military mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina and replace it with a civilian operation.

"Basically, most of the military operations have been completed," said the meeting's host, French Defence Minister Herve Morin.

The EU was due to take a final decision on the future of the Althea mission at a meeting scheduled for November 10, officials said.

Much of the discussions in Deauville focussed on ways to pool resources in order to boost the EU's military capabilities.

A joint French-British initiative to modernize helicopters received the backing of fellow member states, while Morin said progress had also been made on joint programmes involving minesweeping, aircraft carriers and transportation aircraft.

"Now we are getting on to tangible results," Morin said.

The minister also said that the current economic crisis made it even more urgent for member states to pool their capabilities.

"If we are going to have less, let's share our resources," Morin said, noting that member states had already agreed to contribute millions of euros into a military trust fund.

One of the meeting's most significant outcome was a decision to launch a joint maritime convoy operation in Somalia, where pirates have increased their attacks on commercial vessels.

Morin said about 10 countries had agreed to contribute to such a fleet, which would also include several maritime surveillance aircraft, and would escort European fishing, merchant and cruise vessels.

Ministers said they hoped the fleet would be able to start sailing in the Gulf of Aden as soon as November.

EAEU increases exports of dairy products to Turkmenistan
EAEU increases exports of dairy products to Turkmenistan
Number of Uzbek small businesses created over 9M2020 revealed
Number of Uzbek small businesses created over 9M2020 revealed
Iran still working on releasing its frozen funds from South Korea
Iran still working on releasing its frozen funds from South Korea
Loading Bars
Latest
Major Azerbaijani bank's profit drops
They don't ask questions, they act like a prosecutor, accuse us - President Aliyev on foreign journalists
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan up
Armenia must also get rid of this junta. If they cannot save themselves, we will help them - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan asserted itself both on battlefield and politically - President Aliyev
Over course of these 28 years, there have been so many useless meetings, so there is no difference - Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijan responds adequately to Armenian provocations along entire front
BP’s upstream output goes down
Azerbaijani people will not forget this injustice - President of Azerbaijan
Review of four Georgian banks that ended third quarter on high note
Enemy already running away from us we will continue to chase them, because we are right and we are strong - President of Azerbaijan
EAEU increases exports of dairy products to Turkmenistan
BP’s net wind generation capacity rises
If you want to save Armenia, tell it to leave our lands, get away immediately - President Aliyev
Frozen state of Karabakh conflict was in everyone's interests, except Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
More citizens of Georgia to receive access to natural gas in 3 years
Number of Uzbek small businesses created over 9M2020 revealed
We have created new reality, everyone has to reckon with new reality now - Azerbaijani president
If ceasefire continues and issue remains frozen again, this cannot suit us - President of Azerbaijan
Georgian Airways releases flights scheduled for November
Less than two weeks after Heydar Aliyev resigned from all posts, Armenian separatists rose up and demanded that Nagorno-Karabakh be separated from Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
Anglo Asian Mining gives update on Vejnaly contact area
Pakistan supports Azerbaijan in its just struggle - Ambassador
Iran still working on releasing its frozen funds from South Korea
EBRD allocates loan to Azerbaijani group of companies
Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers amends some rules of Cadastre Land Management Center
After Bolshevik revolution, there was great danger that Bolshevik government would hand over Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia - President Aliyev
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister to visit to Azerbaijan
BP’s net debt falls amid completion of JV with Reliance
Central Bank of Azerbaijan may receive new powers
Turkish ministry says Iraq minimizes import of domestic defense products
Azerbaijani currency rates for Oct. 27
Iran to operate desalination plant in Bandar Abbas
Liabilities of Turkey's Azerbaijani subsidiary bank notably grow
Armenian troops shelling Azerbaiajni Tartar district's city, villages
Kazakh Gas Refinery to buy construction materials via tender
Turkmenistan increases imports of dried legumes from EAEU countries
Pakistani National Bank's branch in Baku reveals its 9M2020 total assets
Kazakhstan's export volumes to Europe drop
Azerbaijani MP informs Turkish public about situation in Nagorno-Karabakh region (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan's Aktau port to buy pumps via tender
OPEC+ extension could prolong drag on overall GDP growth
Private sector may be used for modernization of power plant equipment in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani parliament approves resolution to rename Veng village to Chinarli village
Volume of money supply in Georgia reaches new record high
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan change
Kazakhstan's goods import from Netherlands surges
Data on 9M2020 cargo movement from Italy via Turkish ports disclosled
Turkmenistan buys various polymer products from Russia
Information about shelling of border post on territory of Armenia is false - MoD
Peaceful conditions in Karabakh needed to prevent further environmental damage - UNEP
Azerbaijani oil prices edge down
Turkey's 9M2020 export of defense industry products to Georgia grows
Georgia reports 1,824 new coronavirus cases
Kazakhstan increases iron ores production over 9M2020
Tight oil growth will never be as rampant in future
First Honorary Consulate of Ukraine opens in Azerbaijan
Liberation of Gubadli and Khanlig means breakthrough to Lachin corridor - Azerbaijani MP
Uzbekistan reveals volume of agricultural, forestry, fishery production for 9M2020
Ceasefire violations of Armenia must be considered for OSCE MG to yield concrete results - Turkish MFA
Volume of loans issued by Georgian commercial banks up
Bryansk Machine-Building Plant ready to increase locomotives supply to Turkmenistan
Iran’s Shazand Oil Refining Company supplies fuel to IRISL Group
Armenia is like Trojan horse inside CSTO - Turkish government
Russia's Bryansk Machine-Building Plant, Turkmenistan discuss terms of locomotives delivery
Cherries, grapes top list of fruits and vegetable products exported from Uzbekistan
Total volume of non-bank deposits in Georgian banking sector up
Azerbaijani MFA calls on int'l organizations to investigate breach of children rights by Armenia
Singapore ready to share with Uzbekistan experience in forming digital gov’t
France's import of defense industry goods from Turkey decline
Info on death of defense minister of illegal regime in Nagorno Karabakh issued
Assistant to Azerbaijani President Hikmat Hajiyev interviewed by Al Jazeera TV channel (VIDEO)
Armenia established corridor to bring PKK into Azerbaijan’s occupied territories - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Blast at Pakistan religious school kills at least seven, including children
Uzbekistan to introduce Chinese standards into automotive industry
EBRD, EU provide another support to small, medium-sized businesses in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan strongly condemns shelling of Euronews' crew by Armenia - president's aide (VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for October 27
Tractors with telepathic system used to cotton planting in Turkmenistan’s Lebap region
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for October 27
“Jewish Journal” publishes an article on Armenian protest in Los Angeles equating Israel to Nazi Germany
Armenia didn't respond to Azerbaijan's requests for release of war prisoners - Commission
Iranian government eyes to attract investors for Markan coast development
Iran to submit budget plan for new year
Armenia confirms liberation of Gubadli city by Azerbaijan
Iran`s return to FATF blacklist restricts its exports
Destroyed military equipment of Armenian Armed Forces - LIST
Chief of staff of Armenian Army motorized rifle division killed
Latest situation at front line on Oct. 27
Chinese mainland reports 16 new imported COVID-19 cases
Brazil's COVID-19 cases surpass 5.4 mln
U.S. Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court pick Barrett in nearly party-line vote
5.2-magnitude earthquake hits central Iran, no casualties
Czech Republic to introduce night curfew from Wednesday
61 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
Germany reports 8,685 new COVID-19 cases
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Kazakh PM meets with Turkish Defense Minister
All news