Extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Mali:
Extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 17/01/2013 First transmission: 17/01/2013
In the light of recent developments in Mali, an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council has been convened.
The Council is expected to welcome the efforts of the international community and in particular the rapid response of the France to the military offensive led by terrorist groups. It will take stock of possible EU actions in support of Mali. It is expected to adopt a decision establishing the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali). In addition, the Council is likely to demand a speeding up of preparations for the deployment of the mission.
EUTM Mali is intended to help restore the military capacity of the Malian Armed Forces in order to allow, under civilian authority, the restoration of the country's territorial integrity. It will provide basic military training as well as train and advise the Malian forces on command and control, logistics, human resources as well as on international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians and human rights. The mission will not be involved in combat operations.
Its headquarters is due to be in Bamako while training is to take place in a dedicated location in southern Mali. Initially, the mission's mandate is to last 15 months. It is planned to deploy around 200 instructors, as well as mission support staff and a force protection, making for a total of around 450 staff. The common costs of the operation are estimated at €12.3 million for the duration of the mandate.
In addition, the EU has expressed its willingness to provide financial support for the deployment of African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) through the African Peace Facility.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||SOUNDBITE by Villy Sovndal, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs (In Danish)
||SOUNDBITE by Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs (In English) saying that: We will discuss the issue of Mali today, I am looking forward to the information we will be provided by Laurent Fabius and Catherine Ashton and we will take it from there.
Question of Journalist
We look at all the scenarios and it is in the European interest that jihaidst terrorists do not get a hold of the whole of Mali. In that sense I am in full support of the French action and we will see what needs to be done to make sure that this is a success.
||SOUNDBITE by Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister for European Affairs (In English) saying that: We will have an opportunity today to take a decision on the EUTM in Mali and we certainly look forward to a positive decision in that case, we'll also have an opportunity today to have a discussion with the Malian Foreign Minister, ways in which we can progress safety and the security of Malian citizens, ways in which we can work towards lasting peace, it is a good opportunity for EU Foreign Ministers to have a conversation with him to discuss ways which we can take this very serious situation forward and Ireland looks forward to participate in that discussion.
||SOUNDBITE by David Lidington, UK Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (In English) saying that: Yesterday the House of Commons gave its full approval to support the proposed EU training mission in Mali, so I will be looking forward to support on behalf of the United Kingdom the Foreign Affairs Council's resolutions where I hope we will decide today to take forward that training mission. The UK government also continues to give a very strong support to the French-led intervention in support of the Malian government and in line with the appropriate Security Council resolutions of the UN.
We are giving the assistance the French ask for, which is to provide logistical support, that is something I think that both our French partners and the Malian government have greatly welcomed.
||SOUNDBITE by Giulio Maria Terzi Di Sant'Agata, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs (In Italian)
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Garcia-Margallo Y Marfill, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (In Spanish) aying that: This Council seeks to note the interest that Spain has in Mali. What is happening there affects European interests and of course also to nationals. Secondly I want to express my solidarity with France. The Spanish government has supported the French government politically and is willing to support as far as we can from a logistical standpoint. France has intervened under a UN resolution which at the same time responds to a request from the government of Mali. So, this action fulfilled all requirements of international law that our government considers necessary to participate in an intervention.
||Tiéman Coulibaly, Malian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
||SOUNDBITE by Guido Westerwelle, German Minister for Foreign Affairs (In German) saying that: We are going to decide today on a training mission for the Malian forces, we want to support the African forces so that they take the responsibility for the stabilization of Mali. It is not only about supporting France and achieve the stabilization of Mali, but most of all it is about enabling responsibility for the African forces.It is important now that the Africans exercise their regional responsibility. In this respect, a training mission is necessary and we are going to take part in this effort, Europe will make a common decision and this is an important contribution by the EU for stabilizing Mali and the surrounding region.
||SOUNDBITE by Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs (In French) saying that: Regarding today's meeting, I have asked for this meeting to talk about Mali with the presence of the Malian foreign minister because France may be the precursor, but I am expecting European solidarity. I am expecting from this meeting a very quick decision to send a series of European troops in order to train the Malian army. I am also expecting European countries to make efforts on the fields of economy and development and then I will hear what my colleagues are able to provide, because we have to keep in mind that all European countries are concerned with terrorism.
||SOUNDBITE Jean Asselborn,Luxembourgish Minister for Foreign Affairs (In German) saying that: Without the French intervention it would not be possible to implement the UN mission that was unanimously decided on 20 December. I am coming back from New York and the UN Security Council and there is unanimous support for French actions. It is a fight for survival, it is a fight against terrorism and all UN countries agree on the same objective.