Brussels, 3 April 2014
Lunch with the Heads of State of the 'Sahel G5'
President Barroso and President Aziz of Mauritania have invited the Heads of State of the Sahel G5 to a lunch to be held today after the EU-Africa Summit. The Sahel G5 is a regional group of countries made up of Mauritania (Presidency), Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. The lunch is aimed at encouraging this process of regional coordination and will focus on security and development issues.
The EU is in the front line of international efforts, whether diplomatic or relating to security and development, in Mali and the Sahel in general. This meeting is a clear indication of President Barroso's commitment to resolving the crisis. The President hailed the recent setting-up of this regional cooperation framework, remarking that: 'the G5 is a fresh illustration of the desire of the Sahel Heads of States to work together to create the conditions for their countries' development and collective security. The EU is standing by them and is determined to pursue and step up the implementation of its Sahel Strategy.'
He reiterated the EU's commitment to promoting stability and development in the Sahel though support to states and regional organisations, in coordination with the United Nations and the African Union in particular. The EU has already mobilised €5 billion for the years 2014 to 2020. The EU's commitment will continue to be expressed through existing international coordination mechanisms, in particular the international coordination platform for the Sahel led by Mali, in the interests of transparency and the predictability and effectiveness of aid.
The overall security situation in the Sahel has improved since the start of French and international military operations in Mali in 2013 and the regaining of control over northern Mali. However, the effectiveness of these operations depends in part on the quality of international and regional coordination.