Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean told the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council that Romania will take a decision on a possible contribution to the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) at the next meeting of Romania’s Supreme Council for National Defense (CSAT) scheduled for Feb. 5.
The debates on the situation in Mali focused on the unanimous reiteration of the EU-member states’ support for the French-led military intervention. In his address, Titus Corlatean spoke about the need to mobilize the support of the neighbouring states and of the North African countries for the fight against terrorism and organized crime. In addition, he informed his EU counterparts that the Romanian authorities consider the possibility of taking part in EU’s future mission in Mali.
‘I announced the fact that during the CSAT meeting due on February 5, Romania will take a decision on its possible contribution to the EU training mission in Mali and I underscored the importance of EU’s cohesion on an extremely important matter. Moreover, I also said that we must turn our attention to the risk of contagion in the area, with the most obvious case being the terrorist attack in Algeria that leaved many people dead, Romanians included,’ Titus Corlatean told a press conference.
The Foreign Affairs Council also took stock of the developments in the southern neighbourhood, focusing on Syria and Egypt. As for the situation in Egypt, the EU foreign ministers hailed the appeal sent by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to the Egyptian leadership, internal opposition and civil society to joint efforts to seek a solution to their divergent views and involve in the future parliamentary election that will end the last stage of the Egyptian election process.
On this occasion, Corlatean underscored the necessity of bolstering efforts to complete transition in Egypt and he restated the importance of Egypt’s role and position on the regional plan. The EU should revive and reinforce the economic relations between EU and Egypt and put in place the objectives and projects announced at the Task Force-EU-Egypt meeting, Corlatean said.
Minister Corlatean also drew attention upon the extremely serious humanitarian crisis engulfing Syria and the need to support a political solution to the crisis. He reiterated Romania’s concrete contribution made in 2012 to the management of the refugees’ crisis by Syria’s neighbours and he announced Romania’s intention to keep offering the same type of support also in 2013.