Remarks by High Representative Catherine Ashton at the press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, 15 October 2012

Brussels, 20-10-2012 — / — We began today by talking about our growing concern about the situation in Mali, but were pleased to see the adoption of the Security Council Resolution.

The commitment of the EU is to work with the UN, African Union and ECOWAS in particular to prepare an intervention plan on behalf of the people of Mali, who have suffered greatly over recent months.

And with that in mind, the Council asked the EEAS to prepare a Crisis Management Concept for a possible mission particularly focusing how to help re-train and re-structure the Malian military, who must take the lead themselves in restoring legitimate government in the north.

There will be an important meeting in Bamako on 19 October which we will participate in.

I hope that what we will see in the future is a Malian Government with a credible Road Map for the restoration of democratic government and re-structuring the military, as a basis for future EU support.

This issue is urgent. We believe there is a real risk to the region if northern Mali remains an ungoverned space, free for terrorists and drug traffickers to operate in.

There was a discussion too about the latest deliberations on the Iranian nuclear programme. It remains a matter of great concern to all of us.

And we are determined to continue our twin-track approach.



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