Despite French push, EU leaders divided over common defence strategy

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By Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold BRDO, Slovenia (Reuters) – European Union leaders failed to overcome divisions over whether to develop an independent defence force despite anger at the chaotic withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan and new impetus from France after it was excluded from a U.S. geostrategic pact. Leaders meeting over dinner in Slovenia on Tuesday split into classic divisions of eastern states fearful of Russia and wanting to strengthen Europe within NATO and those led by Germany, Italy, Spain and France that want a more robust EU capability, two diplomats briefed on th…

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