The European Union launched a 10.5-billion euro ($12.4-billion) "peace facility" to buy military equipment and conduct peace-keeping operations in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
The EU plans to pay for military equipment, including lethal weaponry, for partner countries in crisis zones such as Africa's Sahel region.
The new EPF is being kept separate from the main EU budget to deal with the rules against funding military projects.
The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said, the EPF, which needs approval by the bloc’s entire member countries would help stabilise restive nations like Mali, Somalia and Central African Republic.
"The world is living in difficult times and this calls for a European Union responsibility and role on the global scene," Mogherini said.
The proposal, made by the European Commission, the bloc's powerful executive arm, would see partner countries given "comprehensive support", which officials said could include weapons. Decisions about what to spend EPF money on would be taken by member states themselves, through the European Council.
The 28-member European Union spent €200 billion ($222 billion) on defence in 2016, the same figure as in 2015, Eurostat announced Friday. The EU, most of whose members share NATO membership with the United States are under pressure from Washington to increase military spending and buy more American arms
The first full scale model of the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MALE RPAS) was unveiled today during a ceremony held at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show, at Schönefeld airport. First unmanned aerial system designed for flight in non-segregated airspace, its characteristics will include mission modularity for operational superiority in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, both wide area and in-theatre, Dassault said in a statement Wednesday
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