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Published: 5 september 2013 09:04

Vilnius hosts meeting of EU defense ministers

Juozas Olekas
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Juozas Olekas

EU defense ministers are gathering for a two-day meeting in Vilnius on Thursday to discuss the Common Security and Defense Policy and may also discuss the situation in Syria.

Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas has said ministers plan to talk about the upcoming EU summit in December, held to discuss defense issues and EU-NATO relations.

The Lithuanian defense minister also said that during discussions on prospects of the European defense and security sector, he would raise the issue of the opportunities to involve more small and medium enterprises into the European Commission's aid programs.

On the eve of the meeting, Olekas did not discount the possibility that some ministers might raise the Syrian issue as the United States was considering launching strikes against Syria in response to a recent chemical attack near Damascus.

"We will talk about operations in the evening. So it might be so that one or several ministers might raise the issue and we will perhaps discuss it," Olekas told journalists.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, as well as over 20 EU ministers are scheduled to attend the Vilnius meeting.

The high-ranking guests will also deliver speeches during the Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defense Policy at the Lithuanian Seimas.

Lithuania is holding the EU presidency in the second half of this year.

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