Tag Archives: Josep Borrell

DJIBOUTI: Borrell on EU-IGAD partnership

Brussels 20.12.2020 “The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders are meeting in Djibouti today at a time when the region has pulled together impressively to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and a desert locust invasion. And at a time, when the stability of the region is threatened by conflicts, ancient border disputes and a diplomatic stand-off” reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on the IGAD Summit in Djibouti.

The European Union joins the millions across the region affected by the current crises, in placing their faith in today’s summit. We support all efforts to encourage dialogue and to silence guns.

As IGAD’s most significant international partner, we also hope that the outcome of today’s meeting will bring the region a step closer to finding a sustainable solution to the ongoing crises, in line with respect for international commitments and, in particular, international humanitarian law.

Regional organisations depend on their members’ mutual legal commitments. The solidarity that binds the IGAD Member States together is crucial for future decisive action”.

The 38th IGAD extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments has opened in Djibouti today, chaired by Sudanese Prime Minister Dr.Abdullah Hamdok, and attended by the African Union Commission Chairperson Mousa Faki.

The recent rift between Kenya and Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, the old conflict between Eritrea and Djibouti, in addition to the Tigray region crisis, will be on table of the the summit of the The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) of East African Countries.

The Summit is taking place few days after the military operations of the federal troops in Tigray region of Ethiopia have been concluded, however the the unfolding humanitarian crisis is still going on, raising concerns of the international community facing urgent needs of tens of thousands of displaced, and refugees.

Ethiopia Foreign minister visits Brussels

Brussels, 24.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell expressed in meeting with Demeke Mekonnen, Ethiopia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, “EU concerns on current conflict”.
The head of the EU diplomacy reiterated the call for all parties to de-escalate.

“The stability of Ethiopia and the region is at stake” he has underlined. In a statement, issued after the visit, the EU diplomat said that Ethiopia is undergoing “challenging times”, and expressed his “great concern” regarding increasing ethnic-targeted violence, numerous casualties and violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law. He also conveyed his analysis that this conflict is already seriously destabilising the region.

“I also discussed the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, in Ethiopia and in the region, notably in Sudan. International Humanitarian Law needs to be upheld. On behalf of the EU, I have called for safe and free movement and protection of civilians, vulnerable groups and IDPs”, Borrell has underlined.

“The message of the EU is clear: we call on all parties to put in place the conditions that will facilitate unimpeded access to people in need, the cessation of hostilities, the non-interference of any external party, and the freedom of the media. Engagement with the High-Level Envoys appointed by the Chair of the African Union should open the door for a dialogue that is the only way forward to avoid further destabilisation”.

The Ethiopian high diplomat has also visited Rome, where he had talks with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Ethiopia: rockets hit Amhara region

Brussels, 20.11.2020 Ethiopia’s Tigray region militia fired rockets on November 20 at the distant capital of the neighbouring Amhara region, Amhara authorities said, raising worries the conflict could degenerate into civil war.

The illegal TPLF group have launched a rocket attack around 1:40 a.m. in Bahir Dar,” the Amhara government’s communications office said, referring to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The rockets caused no damage, it said.

Bahir Dar, Amhara region’s lakeside capital, is located hundreds of miles from the fighting in Tigray. Tigrayan refugees have told Reuters the Amhara militia is fighting on the government side, and the two regions have a border dispute. (Image: Tigray Christians congregation).

A local journalist and another resident in Bahir Dar said they heard two explosions and had been told by people in the area that at least one missile hit near the airport.

“On Ethiopia, the situation in the Tigray region, the ethnic-targeted violence, the allegations of atrocities and the human rights abuses are of deep concern. There is a real danger of an imminent and major humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia and in the close region. We are very much concerned about these prospects and we have reiterated our calls for dialogue and to stop violence and return to dialogue” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said, commenting on results of the Foreign Affairs Council, on November 19.

“I briefed Ministers about my calls with Ethiopian and regional partners, to whom I expressed my concerns and the European Union’s readiness to support a peaceful solution and an inclusive dialogue. There has been an intensive diplomatic outreach at different levels to stakeholders that could influence the two parties. The Commission has informed the Council about the mobilisation of financial resources to try to help the Ethiopian refugees that have fled the region, the conflict, to the neighbouring countries – mainly Sudan”  the EU diplomat explained.

W.Sahara: Borrell insists on respect of ceasefire

The High Representative Josep Borrell met this Sunday, November 15, with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco Nasser Bourita and of Algeria Sabri Boukadoum, to learn about the latest developments in the El Guerguerat area, following the latest events that took place there.

The High Representative recalled on this occasion the full support of the EU for the efforts of the United Nations and its Secretary General with a view to finding a peaceful settlement to the question of Western Sahara, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations. United Nations and especially of the last resolution (2548) adopted on October 30, 2020. In this context, he wished for a rapid resumption of discussions under the leadership of the United Nations and a new Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Western Sahara.

In particular, the High Representative underlined the paramount importance of ensuring respect for the ceasefire agreements in place since 1991 and reiterated the full support of the EU for MINURSO’s efforts to this end. In this context, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs assured the High Representative of his country’s commitment to respect for the ceasefire.

The High Representative also particularly insisted on the preservation of freedom of movement and cross-border trade in the El Guerguerat area, and its significant impact on the entire Maghreb and Sahel region, a region of strategic importance. A political solution to the question of Western Sahara is essential for regional cooperation between the Maghreb countries, the stability, security and prosperity of the region, and this even more in view of the current economic difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic .

Spain categorically condemns the acts committed on Sunday by some participants in a rally (…) in front of the Consulate General of Morocco in Valencia,” said the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation in a statement.
These madmen entered the consulate building in an attempt to place the flag of the so-called “RASD” there, “thus undermining the inviolability, integrity and dignity of the consular headquarters”, underlines the Spanish ministry . “No demonstration exercised within the framework of the right of assembly can degenerate into illegal actions, like the attempt perpetrated on Sunday, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the legislation in force”, affirms the Spanish diplomacy”.

Borrell : EU-AU “ambitious and creative ” partnership

Brussels, 13.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell described the EU-Africa relationship as a strategic issue and called for a ‘modern, ambitious and creative approach going beyond the prism of the past’. The remarks have been made this afternoon while he addressed EU ambassadors in the closing session of the 2020 EU Ambassadors’ conference. The high diplomat has underlined the central role of multilateral cooperation and partnerships, notably with the African Union, along with the UN and NATO.

In his presentation, Josep Borrell said that in a competitive world, the EU needs to ‘practice the language of power, not just speak it’. Both wider political trends and the COVID-19 pandemic have required the strengthening of the EU as a political project, building a Union that acts and protects. The High Representative/Vice-President instructed EU Ambassadors to ensure an active EU in the global arena and to fly the EU flag and speak the EU’s voice.

In terms of how the EU could enhance its international impact, Josep Borrell called for making full use of all the EU’s instruments and policies and combine these to ensure coherence and build leverage. The use of the EU’s new external spending instruments should be geared towards the Union’s strategic priorities. The Team Europe approach that was born in the pandemic and which brings together the actions of EU institutions and member states, acting under one banner should become the norm everywhere.

Calling EU Member States ‘the ultimate deciders’, the High Representative/Vice-President noted the need to build trust and a common sense of purpose. The EU has to safeguard its ability to act, also when Member States are divided. This requires an honest debate on a selective use of qualified majority voting to ‘avoid paralysis and delays’.

Concluding the conference Josep Borrell has underlined the central role that multilateral cooperation and partnerships, notably with the UN, NATO, the African Union and ASEAN have played and will continue to do in the future.

The high diplomat was addressing EU Ambassadors from the EU’s 143 Delegations and Offices around the world, the heads of EU military and civilian operations and the heads of the European Commission Representations in the 27 EU Member States at the end of a week-long annual conference, which was opened by the High Representative/Vice-President on Monday 9 November.

EU urges Ethiopians to de-escalate

“The EU is monitoring the unfolding events in Ethiopia, in particular military action around Tigray, with deep concern”, – the European External Action Service (@eu_eeas) spokesperson stated, while reacting upon the reported military operations taking place in the north of Ethiopia on November 4, Wednesday.
All parties must act to reduce tension and de-escalate the situation. Failure to do so risks destabilising the country as well as the wider region. Building a national consensus through an inclusive national dialogue, comprising all the relevant political actors, is now more important than ever. This was the key message from High Representative Josep Borrell on Monday, November 2. The European Union is firmly committed to supporting reforms in Ethiopia initiated under Prime Minister Abyi’s government and reiterates that the only way to ensure the success of this endeavour is to uphold the rule of law while respecting human rights. This will also guarantee the possibility of free, fair and credible elections in 2021.”

Heavy fighting erupted in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region on Wednesday, November 4, diplomatic sources said, after the Prime minister Abiy Ahmed launched military operations in response to what he said was an “attack on federal troops”.

Prime Minister says he has ordered a military response to an “attack” by the ruling party of the Tigray region on a camp housing federal troops.

Tensions have been mounting since September, when Tigray held regional elections in defiance of the federal government, which assessed the vote “illegal”. In recent days, both parties accused each other of plotting a military conflict.

On November 4 early hours the local ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), tried to commit a theft of artillery and other equipment from federal forces stationed there, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office said.

“The last red line has been crossed with this morning’s attacks and the federal government is therefore forced into a military confrontation,” it said, adding that the aim was to prevent instability engulfing the country and region.

The prime minister’s spokesman Billene Seyoum confirmed that military operations in Tigray had commenced, without providing further detail. A number of diplomatic sources in Addis Ababa said heavy fighting, including artillery fire, had broken out in the northern region Tigray, which borders Eritrea.

Tigray’s local government said the Northern Command of the federal military, which is stationed in the region, had defected to its side, a statement which Billene described as “false information”.

The Prime minister’s office said the federal government had declared a six-month state of emergency in Tigray
to be overseen by the chief of staff of the armed force.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

Amendement :

Côte d’Ivoire: EU notes disparities

“The European Union (EU) takes note of the announcement of the provisional results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The lack of consensus on the electoral framework has fractured the country. Many Ivorians went to the polls, but many others did not, either by choice or by impediment due to violence and blockades” the head of the European Union diplomacy wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

“The EU notes the very wide disparities in the participation rate in the different regions of the country, as highlighted by several election observation missions present there.
“The EU expresses its deep concern at the tensions, provocations and incitement to hatred that prevailed and continue to persist in the country around this election. The violence which has caused the death of several people and injured many must be independently investigated so that justice can be served as soon as possible.

“The EU expects all stakeholders to take the initiative in favour of calming the climate and resuming dialogue, involving new generations and promoting reconciliation through very concrete measures that will turn the page on violence and division. It will support any effort deployed in this direction by national and international actors”.

Ghana: EU sends Observation mission

In response to an invitation by the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Ghana, the European Union (EU) will deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to observe the general elections scheduled for 7 December 2020. (Image: Ghana, Elmina port)

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Mr Javier Nart, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer.

“The deployment of this Election Observation Mission confirms our long-term commitment to supporting peaceful, credible, and transparent elections in Africa and elsewhere around the world. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Mr Javier Nart, the EU EOM will provide an independent assessment of the electoral process and work together with Ghanaians to strengthen further the country’s democratic institutions” High Representative Josep Borrell said.

“It is a great honour for me to lead this Election Observation Mission, which I assume with a great sense of responsibility. For the third time the EU accompanies the election process in Ghana and I trust that state authorities, political parties and all candidates will play their part in promoting a peaceful and credible process” The Chief Observer, Javier Nart, said.

The Core Team of the EU Election Observation Mission consists of 9 election experts who will arrive in Accra on 31 October and stay until the completion of the electoral process. On 7 November, 40 Long-Term Observers will join the mission and will be deployed across Ghana’s 16 regions. Their capacity will be reinforced by up to 30 locally recruited Short-Term Observers on election day.

After election day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Accra. A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented and shared with stakeholders after the finalisation of the entire electoral process.

This EOM is the EU’s third EOM to Ghana after two in 2008 and 2016, as well as an Election Follow-up Mission in 2019.

The EU has a long-standing partnership with Ghana. We share a broad common agenda to promote regional economic integration, peace and security, democracy, rule of law and human rights as well as to tackle global challenges.

EU officials visit to Horn of Africa

Brussels 10.10.2020 Senior European officials have concluded their two-day visit to Ethiopa visit aimed at uplifting the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) in the situation of COVID-19 pandemic.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, inspected 1.5 tons of coronavirus testing kits which were donated to Ethiopia by Germany.

This is an important expression of the European Union role in the fight against pandemic and how we do that with our partners from the African Union,” Borrell said at an airport cargo hall in Addis Ababa, surrounded by thousands of boxes containing the test kits.

Lenarcic stressed that the European Commission wants any future COVID-19 vaccine to be treated as “a global public good” which should be available to all countries irrespective of their purchasing power.

Later on Octobrr 8, Borrell met Moussa Faki, the chairperson of the AU Commission.

“… The European Union, as Africa’s close neighbour and main partner, strongly supports the African Union efforts in silencing the guns on the continent” the head of the EU diplomacy said addressing the webinar on the role of the media in promoting silencing the guns of Africa.

 

“And here, Commissioner [of the African Union for Peace and Security, Smaïl] Chergui, our cooperation aiming at sustainable peace and conflict prevention is at the top of our common agenda. It also fosters inclusive and accountable governance and recognises the role of civil society, the media, and democratic institutions”  Borrell has underlined.

“Allow me to commend the work of journalists, specifically here, in Africa, and all over the world, for their commitment to ensure that all voices calling for peace are being heard. Voices that will eventually silence the guns because they are more powerful. Your work is crucial in providing reliable and credible analysis and acting as a bridge between local communities and policy makers. I can assure you that the European Union will continue to be a strong and reliable partner in the implementation of the African Union master roadmap for silencing the guns”  the EU top diplomat Borrell said during the webinar.

In May this year the EU has provided an additional €105.5 million to countries in the Horn of Africa as the coronavirus pandemic risks worsening the humanitarian situation across the region where many continue to suffer from armed conflict, displacement, and recurrent droughts and floods. Furthermore, a large-scale infestation of locusts threatens food security and livelihoods of many vulnerable people in the region.

Funding from this aid package to humanitarian projects in Djibouti (€500,000), Ethiopia (€42 million), Kenya (€15 million) and Somalia (€48 million).

EU supports Mali transition

“The European Union welcomes the appointment of the President of the Transition Mr. Bah N’daw, the Prime Minister Mr. Moctar Ouane, as well as the entry into office of a government paving the way for a civil transition in Mali for a period 18 months. The European Union welcomes the lifting of the sanctions adopted against Mali following the events of August 18, after several weeks of negotiations carried out with determination by the Economic Community of West African States”, reads the statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on the appointment of the President of the Transition and the new government.

“These conditions now being met, the European Union is ready to support the Transition on the one hand, to organize credible elections leading to the reestablishment of constitutional order, and on the other hand to carry out priority reforms to deal with structural challenges. and long term from Mali. This transition period constitutes an important window of opportunity to recreate a national pact around more accountable and more inclusive public institutions, as has been clearly expressed by the Malian people. As part of a demanding partnership, the European Union will be particularly attentive to concrete actions, particularly in the areas of governance, the fight against impunity, the fight against corruption, more efficient, more transparent and more accountable management. defense and security forces, as well as a more effective presence of State services in the most fragile regions for the benefit of the populations. The implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, as underlined by President N’daw in his inaugural address, remains an imperative”.

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