On January 17th, the Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean will attend a special meeting of the EU External Affairs Council, devoted to the crisis in Mali.
Romania has voiced its deep concern with the recent developments in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, which used to be a French colony until 1960. The concern relates to the military operations carried out by rebel groups in the north of that country. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has condemned the actions of the terrorist groups that promote violence and religious extremism and may destabilize the entire sub-Saharan region.
The Foreign Ministry has hailed the support granted by France to the Bamako authorities and stands for an active international collaboration with the Mali authorities, with a view to restoring constitutional order and stability in Mali, in accordance with the stand expressed by the EU and the decisions adopted by the UN and the African Union. According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Romania pays special attention to the observance of democratic values, tolerance, the rule of law, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state of Mali.
Titus Corlatean: “We have voiced our deep concern with the latest developments in Mali, where terrorist, extremist, fundamentalist groups, through their violent actions, put the stability of the entire sub-Saharian region at risk. We are talking about a common interest, that of the entire international democratic community, to combat terrorism and extremism, and that is why we all believe action is necessary. We hail France’s initiative, to support the legitimate authorities in Mali. There should be an international coordination at EU level, translating into substantial support, as the French have already done actually, and as has been stressed within the UN.”
On Friday, France started a military intervention to stop the advance of Islamist fighters from the north of Mali to capital Bamako. After the start of the French air raids against terrorists, the armed Islamists started to leave the big cities in the north, which they had occupied nine months earlier. The French President, Francois Hollande, has announced that more troops will add to the 750 French soldiers already deployed there, who will be subsequently replaced by African loyalist troops.
Another hot spot on the world map is Syria, where, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 150 people died on Tuesday alone, most of them civilians. According to the UN, over 60 thousand people have been killed in the two years of conflicts between civilians and the forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al Assad.