On the second day of the NATO summit in Newport, Wales, delegates will no doubt be hoping that talks on a possible ceasefire in Ukraine will yield results.
The USA and European leaders have made it clear that there are no plans to use force against Russia, but they have vowed tougher sanctions should the negotiations amount to nothing.
Progress on Ukraine might allow them more time to concentrate on the other big issue – the rising threat of Islamic State and what to do about it.
NATO has pledged to “seriously” to examine any plea by Iraq to fight IS militants, who have so far captured control of significant areas of the country, as well as neighbouring Syria, in their stated aim of creating a new caliphate.
Their rapid progress and bloody tactics have prompted fears that they could eventually threaten security in the West.
Afghanistan is another issue of concern with continuing tensions over the delayed election result.
Both rival presidential candidates have pledged to form a government of national unity and sign agreements allowing foreign troops to stay in the country in 2015.
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