EU needs to turbocharge defence-industrial capacity, says Von der Leyen

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meet with Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the EU needs to turbo-charge defence-industrial capacity in the next five years amid rising global threats.

Speaking at a defence and security conference in Brussels, she added that the focus will be on innovation.

"We will focus on innovation to ensure Europe has that edge in the new technologies, which we see being deployed across the world in different conflicts."

She also said that Iran's attack on Israel was the latest signal of intent of a "new league of authoritarians", mentioning Russia and North Korea as well.

Von der Leyen said that this "league" was working to tear up international rules-based order and to stretch democracies to a breaking point.

Iran launched its attacks in response to airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1 that killed two generals and several other Iranian officers, which it blamed on Israel.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Andrew Gray, Writing by Charlotte Van Campenhout, Editing by GV De Clercq)