Mogherini, right, said countries have already submitted over 50 joint projects. AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND
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France and Germany edged toward achieving a 70-year-old ambition to integrate European defenses Monday, signing a pact with 21 other EU governments to fund, develop and deploy armed forces after Britain's decision to quit the bloc.Foreign and defense ministers gathered at a signing ceremony in Brussels to represent 23 EU governments joining the pact, paving the way for EU leaders to sign it in December. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said countries have already submitted more than 50 joint projects in the fields of defense capabilities and military operations.The club will be backed by a 5 billion euro ($5.8 billion) defense fund for buying weapons, a special fund to finance operations and money from the EU's common budget for defense research.Despite an Anglo-French-led EU defense integration effort in 1998, Britain blocked formal collaboration on military matters, wary of the creation of an EU army.
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