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Migration issues dominate EU foreign affairs council

Migration issues dominate EU foreign affairs council

Federica Mogherini - Photo EU Council

(LUXEMBOURG) - EU foreign ministers focused on migration issues Monday, debating the migration challenges of the Sahel region, and extending the EU naval force Operation Sophia to strengthen efforts against human smugglers and traffickers.

On the Sahel, ministers discussed the EU's approach to security and development in the region, and how to strengthen political dialogue and partnership further with G5 countries on security, migration and development, with a view to strengthening the regional dimension of ongoing missions EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger and the operation EUTM Mali.

Ministers were also briefed on the state of play of the Emergency trust fund for Africa, which has reached a total of EUR 2.3 bn of EU funds, and under which EUR 530m have already been committed to projects in the Sahel region.

On the naval operation, the Council extended until 27 July next year the mandate of the EUNAFOR MED Operation Sophia, the EU's naval operation to disrupt the business model of human smugglers and traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean.

Ministers reinforced the operation's mandate by adding two supporting tasks: training of the Libyan coastguards and navy and contributing to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.

At the meeting, ministers also debated the Middle East peace process, in light of the ministerial meeting on a Middle East peace initiative which took place in Paris on 3 June 2016. Ministers were briefed by the EU Special Representative to the Middle East Fernando Gentilini, who informed them about the state of play on the forthcoming Quartet report.

Outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, 20/06/2016

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