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    A photo taken on September 7, 2017 shows damage in Orient Bay on the French Carribean island of Saint-Martin, after the passage of Hurricane Irma

    French Minister Suggests Joint EU Army Could Tackle Climate Disasters

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    PARIS (Sputnik) – The EU potential rapid deployment force may be used for tackling the consequences of natural disasters, for providing humanitarian assistance and in military operations, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said.

    "What crises are we talking about? It is all kinds of crises. It may be a climate crisis – like the one that happened last year during the Irma storm on Saint Martin … [The second type of crises] is like the crisis that happened around 10 years ago in Lebanon when it was necessary to evacuate a large number of Europeans … When France went to the Sahel region in 2013, it did this alone. If a similar crisis happens in the future, we would like to have an opportunity to prepare for it together with our allies who would like to participate in this operation," Parly told reporters on Wednesday.

    Parly made her remarks after the first ministerial meeting of EU states that have endorsed Paris’ initiative to create the bloc’s rapid deployment force.

    During the talks, the French defense chief said that a meeting of high-ranked General Staff members of these states will be held on Friday.

    The idea to create the European Union’s joint military intervention force was for the first time voiced by French President Emmanuel Macron.

    READ MORE: 'Very Dangerous': Ex-UKIP Leader Lambasts Macron's EU Army Proposal

    In June, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom signed a letter of intent to establish such a force. Finland joined the group on Tuesday.

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    disasters, climate change, European army, Florence Parly, France, EU
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