Eastern EU countries seek joint EU army at summit with Germany

Eastern EU countries seek joint EU army at summit with Germany

PanARMENIAN.Net - Eastern EU countries on Friday, August 26 pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future, AFP reports.

"We must prioritise security, and let's start by building a common European army," Hungary's rightwing prime minister, Viktor Orban, said at talks with Czech, German, Polish and Slovak leaders.

The five-nation gathering in Warsaw is part of a string of meetings among various groups of countries ahead of a summit on the EU's future following the June 23 British referendum.

Leftist Czech Premier Bohuslav Sobotka, for his part, said that "we should also begin a discussion about creating a common European army."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also supported the idea of stronger security but urged caution on how plans were translated into acts.

"Security is a fundamental issue... we can do more together in the areas of security and defence," she said.

"Brexit is not just any event, it's a breaking point in the history of EU so we need to work out a very careful response," Merkel added, according to the official English translation of her words.

However, the concept of a common army is a thorny issue within the European Union (EU), AFP says.

All five EU countries at Friday's Warsaw talks are also members of the 28-member NATO Western defence alliance.

But six of the EU's 27 post-Brexit membership do not belong to NATO: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden.

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