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Germany, France, Italy plan to develop military drones

March 31, 2015: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande brief the media after a meeting of German and French ministers in the chancellery in Berlin.

March 31, 2015: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande brief the media after a meeting of German and French ministers in the chancellery in Berlin.  (The Associated Press)

Germany and France plan to work together with Italy to develop military surveillance drones that could also carry weapons.

French President Francois Hollande said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday that it is important for Europe to be independent in both manufacturing drones and in using the images they produce.

He said that "more and more images are power -- those who have images can act."

The plan is for the European drones to be developed between 2020 and 2025.

The U.S. practice of using drones for lethal strikes against terror suspects has caused unease in Germany. However, Merkel says she's confident there is "acceptance" in Germany for the idea of developing surveillance drones that could, if Parliament gives its approval, later be armed.