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Mr Solana said that the "renewed sense of leadership" in the European Union is influencing the development of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. "The traditionally strong areas of our foreign policy such as trade and development assistance are being increasingly complemented by more political aspects such as conflict prevention and crisis management. We are rising to the challenge. We are assuming our responsibilities", he said. He promised that "later this year", the EU will announce "a limited operational capability" in crisis management.His claims came the day after the high-level meeting between the EU and NATO had failed again to come up with any serious progress on the continuing tensions that impede some of the key elements in the development of the EU defence capability. Turkey's resistance to giving EU systematic access to NATO planning assets remains undimmed, and French desires to see the EU develop a more autonomous and less NATO-dependent approach to defence are still leading to acrimonious exchanges with some of its EU partners behind the scenes.Meanwhile, George Robertson, NATO Secretary-General, has been unequivocal in his views in recent days about his...

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