The European Union says all of its 15 members have agreed to participate in multi-national peacekeeping force for Afghanistan.
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel made the announcement today (Friday) during a summit of European Union leaders under way near Brussels.
E-U foreign policy chief Javier Solana says Britain will lead the international force, with other members participating. Mr. Solana is quoted as saying that the force would number between three and four thousand troops.
It was not immediately clear how the European Union will coordinate its initiative with efforts announced by the United Nations to provide security in post-Taleban Afghanistan.
A seven-person U-N team of experts went to Kabul a week ago to begin setting up its peace mission in Afghanistan. The announcement came after a review of measures E-U members have already taken against terrorism. Spain -- which assumes E-U's new rotating presidency in January -- says anti-terrorism will be its first priority.
Fifteen heads of state and government are meeting in the royal palace at Laeken (in Belgium) for the two-day summit. The agenda includes last-minute preparations for the euro single currency, which will come into circulation on January 1st, and a drive to restructure the European Union, as it prepares to bring in new members in 2004.