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Monday, 12 December 2011

Reinforcing Security and Development in the Sahel

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, recently met Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga and Mohamed Bazoum, Mali and Niger Foreign Affairs ministers respectively, as well as M. Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Delegate Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs. Ministers were joint by M. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Brahim Khlil, Ambassador of Mauritania to the EU. Talks between the parties dealt with the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel.

The meeting took place as part of the implementation of the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, and in a context marked by an increasing number of security incidents targeting European citizens, as well as the worrying consequences of the Libyan crisis for countries in the region. Maiga and Bazoum also met Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development.

These four countries particularly suffer from the recent intensification of terrorist activities in the region, which resulted in the kidnapping of five Europeans in recent weeks, and the death of a German citizen. The EU has strongly condemned these acts.

Given the emergence of new terrorist threats in northern Niger, the joint visit by the ministers is a concrete follow-up of the Algiers conference, held in September, aimed at promoting regional cooperation between Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in their fight against terrorism in the Sahel region.

Source: Consilium