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The EU flag flies over the stock exchange building in Brussels.
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A New Year Brings Familiar Challenges for the EU

Dec 11, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

From negotiating trade agreements to countering Russian propaganda, several key issues will drive the bloc's foreign policy as it struggles to preserve the unity its name promises.

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    Reflections

    A general view for the GCC leaders meeting in Kuwait City on Dec. 5, 2017. Things have been tense in the bloc since Saudi Arabia and some GCC peers' started a campaign to isolate Qatar over differences in regional policies. Of course, the GCC has been beset by internal squabbles among its six members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- since its inception.
    Former president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, delivers a speech to his supporters in the capital city of Sanaa on Aug. 24, 2017.
    Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal watches U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer during NAFTA negotiations, which have failed to sufficiently progress.
    A bitcoin exchange in Zimbabwe showed a spike of activity following the detention of President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
    Students start off the school year at a military academy in the Ukrainian breakaway territory of Donetsk on Sept. 1, 2017.
    Leaders pose during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila on Nov. 13.
    An old sign in downtown Samara references the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the centennial of which Russia's government is uneasily observing.
    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on his first visit to South Asia.

    Global Perspectives

    Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar's emir, met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Doha on Dec. 7, one day after the annual Gulf Cooperation Council Summit was scheduled to wrap up.
    Saudi Defense Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, stands for a photo-op with his counterparts from other countries in Saudi Arabia's Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition at a meeting in Riyadh.
    Chinese tourists wear masks to protect themselves from pollution outside the Forbidden City in Beijing.
    Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama delivers a speech at the opening of the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework on Climate Change, which Fiji presided over in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 6-17.
    A Fulani woman, forced into a camp for internally displaced persons by violence in northeastern Nigeria, emerges from her temporary dwelling.
    Rohingya refugees rest after crossing from Myanmar into Bangladesh in September.
    Given India's diversity and its history of insurgencies, it's not hard to imagine that the country could wind up facing the same sort of secessionist crisis that Spain is currently dealing with.
    Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's president, prepares for a press conference June 15, 2017.
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