EU discusses crisis response capability

Defense ministers of the European Union have discussed ways to increase the bloc's armed capabilities to deal with future crises more independently.

The discussion followed the chaotic evacuations of EU citizens and others from Afghanistan ahead of the US troop withdrawal. EU countries failed to evacuate many Afghan citizens who had worked for them.

The EU defense ministers held talks on Thursday in Slovenia, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

They exchanged views over whether an EU rapid reaction force should be created.

A system of such battlegroups is already in place, but it has never been put into use.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters after the meeting that member countries now have common understanding of the challenges and threats facing them. He said, "Afghanistan is a good example, a timely example in order to mobilize the will of member states and understand that there is no other way to face the new situation than to have capacity to act by ourselves."

He added that the idea of creating such a force has yet to be shared unanimously within the bloc. But he expressed his intention to work toward the goal.