Sumario: 31 January 2011, Brussels - Council of the European Union 3065th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting conclusions on the Sahel
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"1. The Council recalls its Conclusions of 25 October 2010 and commitment to developing a holistic and integrated EU strategy on security and development in the Sahel. The Council expresses its deep concern at the deterioration of the security situation in certain countries of the Sahel region.
2. The kidnapping and assassination of European citizens by terrorists in Niamey underline the growing threat in the region from organised crime and terrorist networks, in particular Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). These threats directly affect the local populations and States of the region, particularly Mauritania, Mali and Niger. They also have an impact on the security of European nationals. They weaken the State structures, hamper economic and social development of the countries concerned and jeopardise European and international development cooperation activities meant to benefit the populations.
3. Fully aware of the multiple challenges facing the region, the Council looks forward to the urgent presentation of a comprehensive EU strategy on the Sahel in the coming weeks, with a view to its discussion and adoption at the earliest possible opportunity. The Council also recalls the need for increased cooperation between the EU and its Member States, States of the region, AU, UN and other international partners in the implementation of the strategy."