EU seeks to boost anti-ter­ror co­op­er­a­tion with GCC states

NATO to align with Gulf

Arab Times - - LOCAL/GULF -

BRUS­SELS, June 19, (KUNA): The Euro­pean Union Foreign Af­fairs Coun­cil meet­ing in Lux­em­bourg Mon­day dis­cussed the fight against ter­ror­ism and called for strength­en­ing anti-ter­ror­ism co­op­er­a­tion with the Arab world.

The Coun­cil in a state­ment called for strength­ened co­op­er­a­tion with the Mid­dle-East and North Africa, Western Balkans, Turkey, Sa­hel and the Horn of Africa, through en­hanced po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue, more counter-ter­ror­ism projects and fi­nan­cial sup­port for counter-ter­ror­ism and coun­ter­ing and pre­vent­ing vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

“Co­op­er­a­tion with re­gional or­gan­i­sa­tions like the League of Arab States and the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) re­mains key,” it stressed.

The state­ment un­der­lined that EU sup­port for im­me­di­ate as well as long term sta­bi­liza­tion of le­git­i­mate and in­clu­sive po­lit­i­cal struc­tures in post-IS pe­riod in Iraq and in Syria.

It will also be cru­cial to step up work to deny IS and other ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions new safe havens, it noted.

The Coun­cil wel­comed the de­ci­sion by NATO to en­hance the Al­liance’s con­tri­bu­tion to coun­ter­ing global ter­ror­ism through its sup­port for the Global Coali­tion against DAESH, of which the EU is also a part­ner.

It also stressed the im­por­tance of joint and ef­fec­tive ef­forts on coun­ter­ing the il­licit traf­fick­ing of arms and the move­ments of foreign fight­ers as well as coun­ter­ing ex­trem­ist ide­o­log­i­cal in­flu­ences in the Western Balkans.

Wel­comed

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, the EU wel­comed the ini­tia­tive of the Heads of State of the G5 Sa­hel on the es­tab­lish­ment of the G5 Sa­hel Joint Force.

The EU has been the first to an­nounce a fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion, with 50 mil­lion euro ($ 55 mn) as planned sup­port to this ini­tia­tive.

The Coun­cil also adopted con­clu­sions on Mali and the Sa­hel re­call­ing its strong in­te­grated ap­proach to­wards achiev­ing sta­bil­i­sa­tion of the re­gion. This ap­proach in­cludes full range of rel­e­vant in­stru­ments in the field of diplo­macy, long-term de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion, sup­port to hu­man rights, sta­bil­i­sa­tion ef­forts, hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance, mi­gra­tion man­age­ment and se­cu­rity.

In another state­ment, the Coun­cil said that “as close neigh­bours, Europe and Africa share a com­mon fu­ture and 2017 is an im­por­tant year for their part­ner­ship.” The EU in­sti­tu­tions look for­ward to work­ing closely with African part­ners to­wards an am­bi­tious and suc­cess­ful 5th Sum­mit in Abid­jan on Nov 29 and 30, 2017 it noted.

EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Fed­er­ica Mogherini pre­sented the EU’s global strat­egy to the Coun­cil.

“If one year ago, many pre­dicted the ‘in­evitable’ de­cline of the Euro­pean Union”, it is now clear that “the Global Strat­egy has served as a spring­board to re­launch the process of Euro­pean in­te­gra­tion af­ter the Bri­tish ref­er­en­dum to exit the EU,” she said.

“We have shown to our part­ners that the EU will con­tinue to be a re­li­able global power and a strong se­cu­rity provider”, said the EU foreign pol­icy chief.

Fur­ther, the Coun­cil agreed to de­velop a frame­work for a joint EU diplo­matic re­sponse to ma­li­cious cy­ber ac­tiv­i­ties, the cy­ber diplo­macy tool­box.

De­ci­sion

More­over, the Coun­cil “deeply re­gret­ted” the uni­lat­eral de­ci­sion by the United States Ad­min­is­tra­tion to with­draw from the Paris cli­mate Agree­ment and wel­comed the nu­mer­ous strong state­ments of com­mit­ment to the Paris Agree­ment from coun­tries rang­ing from ma­jor economies to small is­land states.

The Coun­cil adopted con­clu­sions on the EU strat­egy for the Cen­tral Asia re­gion. It em­pha­sised that Cen­tral Asian coun­tries have be­come sig­nif­i­cant part­ners of the EU and wel­comed the progress achieved un­der part­ner­ships with the EU.

Mean­while, NATO Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Rose Got­te­moeller said Mon­day that the 29-mem­ber Al­liance is “work­ing very much with our part­ners in the Gulf.”

“We had the op­por­tu­nity to open a new train­ing cen­tre in Kuwait just in Jan­uary and we still see real op­por­tu­ni­ties there to see de­fence in­sti­tu­tion build­ing, de­fence ca­pac­ity build­ing, work­ing on im­por­tant prac­ti­cal mea­sures such as clean­ing up un­ex­ploded or­di­nance, im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices,” she told re­porters ahead of a meet­ing with EU foreign min­is­ters in Lux­em­bourg to­day.

“Those are very prac­ti­cal ar­eas. But also help­ing to build de­fence in­sti­tu­tions. So this is a great op­por­tu­nity and we will con­tinue to do ev­ery­thing we can to build and de­velop our co­op­er­a­tion with our part­ners in the Gulf,” she said.

The NATO deputy chief said that “we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate co­op­er­a­tion in the area, but NATOs main fo­cus and ef­forts are re­lated to de­fence ca­pac­ity build­ing and re­ally work­ing with our part­ners to look for ways to im­prove their in­sti­tu­tions and their over­all train­ing.” Got­te­moeller added that she will dis­cuss at length EU-NATO co­op­er­a­tion in the meet­ing with NATO foreign min­is­ters, es­pe­cially in de­fence mat­ters.

EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Fed­er­ica Mogherini

KUNA photo

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