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General [Claudio] Graziano [Permanent Chairman of the European Union Military Committee], Director-General [of the European Union Military Staff, Hervé] Bléjean, Honourable Ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure. I am very pleased to speak to you today to celebrate today the 20th Anniversary of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS). Since it was established, militaries from our Member States have served under the European Union flag to provide security and stability around the world, from the Balkans to the Central African Republic, the Horn of Africa, to the Sahel. Their work is crucial to stabilise and manage conflicts, to secure free and open sea-lanes and to protect European citizens and their interests. …