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EU Foreign Affairs Council, Terzi calls for rapid launch of border control mission in Libya

Italy called for the deployment “as rapidly as possible” of a European border control mission in Libya, explained Minister Giulio Terzi at the conclusion of an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels. “We discussed the EU’s possible collaboration on border control in Libya and the country’s security conditions; my call for the rapid launch of a common foreign and security policy mission was broadly supported”, he added. Also discussed during the meeting were the crises in Syria and Mali and the situations in Egypt and Somalia.

Mali: ground operations yield significant results, says Terzi

In the case of Mali, Terzi indicated that there was “great satisfaction with the progress in ground operations”, which were yielding “significant results”, and “with the response by African nations and others, such as Italy, that have ensured support for the deployment of an EU training mission”. The international community’s intervention, “initially led by the French but within a very clear Security Council resolution framework, was “necessary and timely, and is yielding significant results, with the liberation of the main cities along the demarcation line between north and south Mali”. Now, the minister explained, discussions are focused on “how to implant development and build credible institutions” and with this in mind, “the EU has taken note of the road map approved by the Malian parliament that points to elections this summer”.

Egypt: the situation calls for patience

The recent clashes between opposition and government forces in Egypt are a “concern, but the situation calls for patience and a constructive approach that sends clear messages to the government”, Terzi explained, underscoring that “we expect a transparent constitutional process that respects human rights and minorities”, and in that sense already “there are indications of Egypt’s willingness”, as witnessed by Morsi’s mission to Berlin and “by his first visit to a European country, which was the one he made to Rome”.

Somalia: security conditions improving

In Somalia, “security conditions are improving despite the terrible attack a few days ago, but overall the Shabaab have left the city and economic activity has resumed”, Terzi reported, who met in Brussels with the Somali president. The minister expressed satisfaction “at seeing the president and new government’s determination to seize this unique historical moment” of both economic and social improvement. The minister described “neighbourhoods being created by Somalis returning from refugee camps” and a sharing of activities with the international community “that will be seen especially in the upcoming conferences to be sponsored in Brussels first by the EU and then by Great Britain, which must set the stage for the forging of a compact between Somalia and the international community on the country’s governance”.