The S&D Group deplores the loss of life and hostage-taking perpetrated by terrorists in Algeria in retaliation for the French military intervention against AQIM (Al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb) in Mali. S&D MEPs welcomed the decision at an extraordinary meeting of the EU Council to immediately mandate a CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) mission to Mali.
The S&D spokespersons on foreign affairs and security and defence policy urged the EU Council of Ministers to ensure that the CSDP mission to Mali is properly financed by community funding, to enable troops and other support to come from all EU member states.
S&D vice-president Libor Rouček said:
"The EU CSDP mission should be given all civil and military tools to address the terrorist threat. In the longer term it also needs to comprehensively address all the other challenges posed by the fragility of the state, and the need for development and good governance in the Sahel region."
S&D foreign affairs co-ordinator Ana Gomes said:
"Related events in Algeria and Mali demonstrate that Europe is facing serious terrorist threats to its people and interests in this region of Africa. Responding to the calls from the Malian authorities and the UN for assistance to protect the people and restore the territorial integrity of Mali, the EU must be effective in confronting threats to its own security and prepare for long-term engagement mobilising all tools, including military, political and development assistance."
S&D security and defence co-ordinator Maria Eleni Koppa stressed:
"The decision to speed up the deployment of an EU training mission to Mali is a positive step but does not solve the pressing problems on the ground. It is vital to ensure that the current financing mechanisms for CSDP missions – based on the principle 'costs lie where they fall' – are reviewed and changed to community funding. This must apply immediately to the common EU efforts in Mali, to enable all member states – particularly those currently facing economic hardship – to contribute to the mission, be it in terms of troops, equipment or civilian components. Of utmost importance is securing the protection of civilians and urging all parties involved in the conflict to respect humanitarian law and human rights."
S&D Press contact: Dimitris Komodromos
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