Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu addressed on Romania's behalf today's ministerial meeting of the International Coalition for the Sahel, highlighting in this context the participation of Romanian experts in EU military and civilian training missions in the region.
The Romanian chief diplomat "welcomed the operationalization of the Takuba Task Force, expressing appreciation for this military initiative in the Sahel, as Romania follows with interest the relevant developments," the Foreign Ministry said in a release.
Aurescu pointed to the emphasis placed by Romania on the development of institutional capacity in the region and on the educational component, an aspect highlighted in the relationship with the Sahel states. Thus, the ForMin mentioned the doctoral scholarships offered to students from the Sahelian states, the organization of training courses for Sahel experts in the field of post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization and Romania's financial contribution to UNICEF, in support of educational projects in the Sahel.
The Romanian Foreign Minister reiterated support for all the four pillars of the International Coalition for the Sahel - the fight against terrorism, strengthening the capabilities of the G5 Shael states' armed forces, supporting the return of state institutions and authorities in the territory, and providing development assistance. He also mentioned the importance of the international coordination of all the efforts aimed at ensuring the security and development of the states in the Sahel region. In this thread, Aurescu evoked Romania's contribution to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) of 120 troops and four military helicopters, which carried out highly specialized actions between October 2019 and October 2020.
Finally, the Romanian top diplomat highlighted the important role played by all international actors present in the Sahel region, reaffirming Romania's commitment to the common goals of the European Union, the International Coalition for the Sahel and the G5 Sahel group regardin security and development in this region.
The video conference that brought together the European institutions and the EU member states, the Sahel states (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger), the African Union, the United Nations and other state or institutional partners, was aimed at coordinating the efforts of the international community towards stabilization and strengthening state capacity in the Sahelian countries.
The International Coalition for the Sahel was launched at the Pau Summit (13 January 2020), which brought together the G5 Sahel member countries' heads of state and the French President, in the presence of the UN Secretary General, the President of the European Council, the High Representative of the EU, the President of the African Union Commission, and the OIF Secretary General.
Subsequently, the establishment of this coalition was sanctioned at the EU-G5 Sahel video conference of April 28, 2020, based on four main pillars of action: fighting terrorism, strengthening the capabilities of the national forces, the return of state authority in the territory, and development assistance. The coalition does not replace other existing structures, but aims to coordinate and streamline all current and future activities of international actors in the Sahel.
The G5 Sahel group (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger) was formed in order to address the major security challenges in these countries, which are mainly caused by terrorist groups operating in the Sahel. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)