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Italy is to push for the creation of a European Army after the "new Europe" takes shape at this week's crucial EU summit following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty.
In an interview with The Times at his office in the monumental marble-halled Foreign Ministry on the banks of the Tiber, Mr Frattini said: "We have finally concluded a never-ending story". The Lisbon Treaty, which comes into force in December, will be sealed on Thursday with an EU summit to choose an EU President and Foreign Minister.
It was a "necessary objective to have a European army", Mr Frattini said. "Take Afghanistan: at present President Obama asks Poland, or Italy, or Great Britain for more troops. If there were a European army, he would have a 'toolbox' to draw from. He might need 30 aeroplanes: he would be able to ask if the European army was in a position to provide them."