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Written statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, following the videoconference of the first Ministerial Meeting of the International Coalition for the Sahel (12 June 2020)
I participated today, via videoconference, in the first Ministerial Meeting of the International Coalition for the Sahel.
The objective of today’s meeting was to bring together the interested countries of the Sahel and the EU, along with international organizations, to finalize the framework for the operation of the coalition and to adopt common goals and commitments.
I expressed Greece’s fervent support for the founding of the International Coalition and for the international community’s efforts to achieve stability in the region, which is facing endemic security issues, stagnant growth, unemployment and lack of infrastructure.
The ongoing deterioration of the situation in the Sahel has repercussions for the security of the wider region, including Libya. In the joint Declaration of the Summit Meeting between the EU and the group of 5 countries of the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad), which took place on 28 April, special mention was made, on the initiative of our country, to cooperation in the sector of migration.
Greece has been participating in the EU’s training mission in Mali since 2013. I expressed our country’s willingness to establish an even more active political presence in West Africa, both through participation in the Takuba Task Force and by opening a Greek Embassy in Senegal.
Greece has made the decision to increase its footprint in the wider region, and especially in crisis spots, with the aim of supporting the efforts to restore peace and stability.