Ministerial Meeting EU / G5 Sahel: press release by the ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Benelux

On the eve of the 4th ministerial meeting between the G5 and the EU, the ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Benelux countries wish to express their support to the efforts of the EU and of the G5 Sahel for the stabilization and reconstruction of the region. 

Our Benelux countries have long been committed to the Sahel, through a decades-long relationship of trust and cooperation. 

As such, we wish to underline the importance of a strategic partnership and of a mutual cooperation with the countries of the region to collectively address the security and development challenges exacerbated by strong demographic growth and climate change. Our joint efforts to comprehensively manage migration and mobility are made in that spirit. 

The establishment of the G5 Sahel Joint Force is an important part of this strategy, because it embodies a regional leadership role on security challenges, particularly in partnership with MINUSMA. This is why all the Benelux countries support its deployment. 

This support must endure. In this respect, our full support to the European missions training and strengthening the capacity of the local security forces and the  full cooperation between these and the G5 Sahel countries seem to us essential. This message was also relayed by a joint mission of the Benelux political directors to Mali and Niger from 29 April to 2 May. 

The Joint Force will succeed only if it can rely on the population it is called to defend. It must make allies of these people. Therefore, it is imperative that the deployment of the Joint Force takes place in a precise and integrated framework to ensure the respect of human rights, along with a civilian component to allow the restoration of the rule of law and the strengthening of the administrative and judicial systems.

The commitment of the Benelux countries to our partners of the G5 Sahel is a long-lasting one. Our ambition is to bolster this strategic partnership through our cooperation with the local authorities, civil society and the private sector in order to improve regional stability and support the people of the Sahel.