Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (24 February) prior to his departure for Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Mali:
In the United Nations Security Council, we are advocating conflict prevention, sustainable peacekeeping and a comprehensive approach to resolving and preventing conflicts.
I am travelling to West Africa today and will be visiting three countries that enjoy the support of the international community in the particular challenges they face. Twenty years after the end of the civil war and following a successful UN mission, Sierra Leone is a country that stands today on its own two feet and is shaping its future. In Mali and Burkina Faso, instability and conflict are currently giving us cause for great concern.
Germany is playing a very active role in all three countries within the framework of the UN and EU, and also bilaterally. We in Germany and Europe have a strong interest in helping these countries to overcome their difficulties. I would like on this trip to gain a first-hand insight into the challenges and opportunities in these three countries as well as in the region.
Foreign Minister Maas will be visiting Freetown on 25 February, Ouagadougou on 26 February, Gao on 27 February and Koulikoro and Bamako on 28 February.