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    Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference in Berlin Germany, December 19, 2016

    German FM Seeks Ways to Keep EU United as Bloc Torn Apart by Many Forces at Once

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    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned Sunday that holding the European Union together would be an uphill battle, as he prepares to leave for a one-day tour to Austria and Italy on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —  With refugee and migrant crisis disputes tearing at EU’s fabric, the remaining member nations should get together and find lasting solutions to difficult issues, Gabriel said.

    The bloc already faces a tough divorce process after London informs Brussels of its decision to quit by the end of next month.

    "The EU has hardly ever been torn apart by so many centrifugal forces at once – both inside and outside. During talks in Vienna and Rome, I want to discuss with my colleagues how we can strengthen Europe’s unity and secure the EU in the future," Gabriel said in a statement.

    Gabriel also said he was going to bring up the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine at talks with Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who took over chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) from Germany last month.

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