"We stand together in our fight against terrorism," EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said in remarks to the press this morning. "These are difficult and dramatic hours which testify to how European and Africans are brothers and sisters in both the fight against terrorism and in the solidarity of our response to it," Mogherini said.
"We will continue to work together day after day and will not let terrorism win," Mogherini added in a press conference later in the day.
The EU currently has more than 500 troops from 27 countries deployed in Mali with a mandate to provide capacity-building to the Malian army and support their mission to restore Malian territorial integrity, protect the population and reduce the threat posed by terrorist groups.
EU foreign ministers meeting today in Luxembourg adopted positions on counter-terrorism as well as the Africa-EU partnership and EU support to Mali and the Sahel region. They reiterated the EU's full support to the implementation of the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. They also commended the political leadership of the G5 Sahel countries G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) for recently setting up a joint counter-terrorism force, which the EU recently announced it would support with EUR 50 million.
The EU takes an integrated approach to promote the security, stability and development of the region. In addition to its support for the G5 Sahel force, the EU invests heavily in sustainable development in Mali and the region. The EU's development cooperation initiatives in Mali mainly focus on political and economic governance, strengthening institutional capacities and regional integration. The EU furthermore provides around EUR 46 million a year in humanitarian aid to Mali.
"Our partnership is very strong and will be consolidated, strengthened on the occasion of the Africa-EU summit this November," Mogherini said.