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EU leaders meet in Brussels to discuss Ukraine, Gaza, defence



European Union (EU) leaders will meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Gaza, and European Commission plans to develop the European Union’s defence industry, as well as the potential future enlargement of the 27-member bloc.

The assembled prime ministers and presidents will mull over a plan to buy armaments for Ukraine using the proceeds of frozen Russian assets.

The proposal, prepared by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, would see 90 per cent of the appropriated revenue go to an off-budget EU military aid fund.

The other 10% would be added to the EU budget and used to strengthen Ukraine’s industrial capacity to produce armaments of its own, according to Borrell.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the meeting by videolink.

EU leaders are also expected to repeat a call made by foreign ministers in February for “an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza, according to a draft statement seen by dpa.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is to join talks in Brussels on the Israel-Hamas war.

A proposal from the commission to strengthen the bloc’s armaments industry by allocating 1.5 billion euro (1.6 billion dollars) to joint procurement of military equipment is also set for scrutiny.

Finally, the leaders are also expected to agree to open EU membership talks with Bosnia-Herzegovina, following a recommendation by the commission on March 12.

Despite the prominence of international affairs, domestic issues may yet distract EU leaders with more farmers’ protests set to take place. The last summit in February saw Brussels’ EU quarter brought to a standstill by convoys of tractors.

Emmanuel Yashim

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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