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Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the signing of a preliminary peace agreement in Mali

By European Council
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, June 19, 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 welcome the signing in Ouagadougou, by the Malian authorities and northern Mali's nonterrorist armed groups, of a preliminary peace agreement in preparation for the presidential election and inclusive peace talks in Mali.

This agreement is of historic significance. It is a crucial step in the process of building peace through dialogue.

I pay tribute to the determination of the statesmen and the groups' representatives who have reached this agreement. I would also like to express my gratitude for the mediation provided by President Compaoré and the other international actors involved alongside him.

The European Union has lent its full support to these negotiations. It will remain at the side of all Malians to facilitate the implementation of the agreement in all its dimensions".