France criticises Ashton's diplomatic efforts
(BRUSSELS) - French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has criticised EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's diplomatic efforts, calling for better policy coordination, in a letter obtained by AFP.
"We must improve the workings of the European external action service and the way they mix with diplomatic efforts of union members," he said in the letter sent to Ashton ahead of an EU foreign ministers' meeting Friday and Saturday in Copenhagen.
The external action service, headed by Ashton, "must cooperate more with member states and improve its capacity to field ideas," Juppe added.
The EU's external service "must reinforce its expertise on global and multilateral issues -- non-proliferation, the fight against terrorism, EU action in international forums," he added.
Juppe also suggested that the external service "improve the EU's reaction to human rights' issues" around the world, in Iran or Syria, for example.
Britain's Ashton has been in charge of the EU's new external action service since its inception two years ago, but has been criticised for lack of leadership.
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