The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, met on Thursday with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mali’s transitional government, Abdoulaye Diop, in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
During the meeting, the High Representative/Vice-President conveyed the EU’s grave concerns about the deteriorating political, social, humanitarian and security situation in Mali.
The High Representative/Vice-President reiterated that the EU full supported the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in particular its communiqué of 16 September 2021 demanding that the 18-month transition period be adhered to and elections be held in February 2022. Any slippage of this timetable would only exacerbate the crisis of trust between the institutions and the Malian people. They also discussed the need to move forward with certain key reforms.
The High Representative/Vice-President also made it clear that any intervention in Mali by the Wagner paramilitary company, which has undisputedly committed abuses in other countries, would have an immediate effect on cooperation between the European Union and the transitional government.
As an important partner for Mali, alongside its G5 Sahel and Sahel Coalition partners, the European Union will remain engaged, but it must also speak forthrightly when the situation requires.