At the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 17 January in Brussels, Lithuania’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Neris Germanas and his counterparts from the EU member states decided to establish the European Union Training Mission (EUTM Mali), and discussed other options for EU action.
“Taking into account the needs, Lithuania is contemplating the possibility of contributing to the European Union Training Mission. At the moment we are considering the ways of contribution - sending military technology, equipment or specialists,” the Vice-Minister Neris Germanas said.
The European Union Training Mission is established to support the training of the Malian Armed Forces. The Council gave the mandate to Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to open negotiations with the Government of Mali on the status of this mission.
The Council also decided to provide financial and logistical support to those African countries providing troops for the UN-AU mandated African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).
“We believe that the political and security crisis in Mali ought to be addressed in a coherent and comprehensive manner, working with the Government of Mali, other African countries, the EU and the United Nations, and closely coordinating actions with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the international community,” the Foreign Vice-Minister of Lithuania noted.
The Foreign Affairs Council meeting was attended by Malian Foreign Minister Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, with whom the EU Foreign Ministers discussed prospects for restoring democracy and the rule of law in Mali. The Council debated how the EU could support the Malian authorities.