Portugal pledges to join EU’s defense cooperation project

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Portugal plans to sign up to the Permanent Structured Cooperation defense project of the European Union (EU), foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva said on Friday.

“The government’s intention, and hence the government’s proposal, is to participate in Permanent Structured Cooperation,” Silva told the Lusa Portuguese News Agency.

Santos Silva will draft a letter, in conjunction with Azeredo Lopes, the Minister of Defense, outlining the implications of Portugal’s involvement to the parliamentary commission on European affairs. A parliamentary debate will follow.

The Permanent Structured Cooperation, known as PESCO, proposes increased EU co-operation in security and defense. It covers areas ranging from the acquisition and usage of equipment to transport and deployment.

The Portuguese government received the EU’s final draft for the fledgling program on Wednesday. EU member states have until Dec. 11 to register their interest.

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