EU Foreign Ministers discuss Mali
Meeting on 31 January, the Foreign Ministers of the European Union focused on the situation in Mali.
A political solution is possible – supporting the restoration of order
Commenting on the situation in Mali prior to the meeting with his fellow EU Foreign Ministers, Guido Westerwelle called the Malian Parliament’s adoption of the political roadmap a sign “that working for a political solution is not only vital but also had a real chance of success”. The important thing now, he said, was to ensure the African troops “have the wherewithal to carry out their duties in northern Mali to stabilize the country”.
In their conclusions, the Foreign Ministers reiterated their support for Mali’s unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty, welcomed the political roadmap adopted by the Malian Parliament and highlighted the need for African countries to be involved in efforts to help Mali. They also welcomed the accelerated preparations for the EU Training Mission for the Malian army, calling it a contribution to the strengthening of civil authority and the protection of human rights. The Foreign Ministers also expressed concern at reports of human rights abuses and called on the Malian authorities to investigate the allegations without delay.
A meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group on the situation in Mali is to take place in Brussels on 5 February. The group is chaired jointly by the African Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations.
Reconstruction in Somalia
© picture alliance / dpa
There were numerous other issues on the agenda. The situation in Somalia was discussed, for example, in light of the transition phase having ended in 2012. This was the first time that Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, newly elected in September 2012, had met the EU Council.
The Foreign Ministers also spoke about the situation in the countries undergoing major changes in North Africa as well as the EU’s support for societies in transition in general. In another area, they agreed on a crisis management strategy for a possible new civilian operation under the auspices of the CSDP to develop capacities to protect the EU’s own borders.
Last updated 31.01.2013