Yesterday’s meeting was an important one because it brought together, at the initiative of the President of the French Republic, both African representatives and their European counterparts, representing the countries mobilised on the ground in the Sahel.
It was also an opportunity to state clearly, in unequivocal terms, the European Union’s sincere, loyal and lasting commitment alongside its African partners. And I would say that this meeting was an opportunity to give impetus, and also to synchronise, to make sure that our actions are fully aligned, fully coherent and stem from the common desire to be determined to meet this objective that brings us together: fighting against the poison of terrorism. I of course echo the tributes that have been paid to the European, French, and also African military personnel and civilians who have fallen victim to the barbarity of terrorism.
Lastly, it goes without saying that the transformation of the situation in Mali must also lead us to act and to transform the way in which we give impetus – which was done very clearly yesterday, in agreement with those who took part in the meeting – the impetus to move towards a recalibration of the system.
Yesterday’s meeting was extremely important and useful as it enabled us to talk to one another in a very operational and practical way and to consider how, over the coming weeks and months, we will combine our actions to ensure that they correspond fully to what is useful and necessary in order to attempt to counter this terrorist threat and bring stability and security. It is of course also important, as many others have said, to take account of the Sahel, the G5 Sahel, and also their involvement in the Accra Initiative. This has been brought to the fore: we have had the opportunity to demonstrate this tenacity, this commitment also to engaging countries in this well-known initiative.
I will conclude simply by saying that in a few hours we will have the opportunity to open an Africa-Europe summit, the first since Abidjan. An in-person meeting with a participation rate at the highest level which, I believe, attests to a shared ambition on both the European and African sides. A shared ambition to build a renewed, forward-looking, sincere partnership based on a new set of principles: mutual respect, mutual interests, and the conviction that together we can meet two the dual objectives of advancing peace and security and advancing development, prosperity, Africa and Europe. We are facing the challenges of our time, challenges for our generation, and it is our responsibility to ensure that there are areas of prosperity, stability and security. And we are well aware that when Africa is doing well, it is a good thing and is beneficial for Europe, and when Europe is doing well, it is a good thing and is beneficial for Africa. Thank you.
Source: Remarks by President Charles Michel following the meeting in Paris on the fight against terrorism in the Sahel – Consilium (europa.eu)
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