Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the situation in Mali
BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, January 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission issued the following statement today:
"I am very concerned about the military movements initiated by terrorist groups in the north of Mali and condemn in the strongest terms their attacks against Malian forces and the occupation of the city of Konna.
This situation highlights the need for enhanced and accelerated international engagement in support of the restoration of stability and State authority throughout Mali, in line with U!SC Resolution 2085.
The European Union remains committed to supporting international efforts to protect democratic government, the rule of law and the territorial integrity of Mali. It will accelerate preparations for the deployment of a military mission to Mali to provide training and advice to the Malian forces and it is taking action to support the rapid deployment of the African led international Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).
I call upon the transitional authorities of Mali to finalize swiftly a transitional roadmap. The door for negotiations remains open, but only for groups that are willing to accept the unity of the country and distance themselves from violence and terrorist activities.
The EU will examine further targeted sanctions against all groups affiliated to terrorist
organisations if need be."