The EU wants to see more African involvement in Mali. Paris has suggested a mission of African nations, under UN leadership.
At least five UN peacekeepers have been killed in northern Mali by an explosive. In addition, three were wounded.
An Italian top diplomat, a former French finance minister in charge of economic affairs, a German moving across from the energy portfolio to digital economy: the European Commission has named its new commissioners.
The French president has called for swift international action against "Islamic State" militants. Francois Hollande is hosting a conference on tackling the threat posed by the Islamist militants and stabilizing Iraq.
France and Germany increasingly hold the keys to the EU's foreign policy. While Paris focuses on the Syrian conflict to offset domestic turmoil, Berlin finds economic and security grounds to confront the Ukraine crisis.
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