BRUSSELS, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- The foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) decided here Monday that the bloc's security chief Javier Solana is to head the defense agency to be established before June 2004.
The ministers, who are meeting here for a two-day meeting, agreed that Solana will also chair the meeting of the Steering Board of the agency, which comprises defense ministers of the participating countries.
"I am particularly pleased with the decision to create the Defense Agency. I would like to thank ministers of defense for their most constructive input. Their presence in the defence agency's Steering Board will certainly contribute to give continued impetus to its future work," Solana told the meeting.
As the first director of the defense agency, Solana said that he is strongly committed to seeing that the "Agency Establishment Team," which is responsible for the specific preparations for the agency, can start its work in January 2004.
The EU leaders decided to set up the agency at the June European Council gathering in Greece. The agency's main task is to support member states in their effort to improve European defense capabilities in support of European Security and Defense Policy. Enditem