The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/23cag-frieden01/
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Luc Frieden: "The European Union is ready to support the African Union's mission in Sudan, the African Union must continue to be the leader of operations in Darfur"
At the end of the part of the General Affairs and External Relations Council dedicated to the European security and defence policy, the Defence Minister, Luc Frieden, made the following statement on EU support for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS):
"An important point during this Council was our discussion of the support the European Union wishes to lend to the African Union within the context of the Darfur conflict in Sudan. The African Union has asked the European Union for support, mainly military: logistics, planning, training and equipment. I brought up this issue with my EU Defence Minister colleagues. All the Ministers were of the opinion that the European Union, as such, must answer 'yes' to this request from the African Union. Many European Defence Ministers have offered equipment and personnel in response to the African Union’s request, so that the European Union, through its High Representative for the CFSP, Javier Solana, can show at the Addis Ababa Conference on 26 May 2005 that the European Union and its defence policy are not just a concept, but a reality. We are ready to assist those populations that are in need. The situation is complex in Sudan and the European Union is ready to play its role there.
The European Union is ready to support the African Union mission in Sudan at its request. It is clear for the EU Defence Ministers that the African Union must be the leader of operations in Darfur. For the European Union, it is also clear that we must do so in complementarity with other international organisations such as the UN and NATO.
We shall not become involved in a game of competition between NATO and the European Union. The European Union has its own security and defence policy with a very concrete component, but where we find added value that others can contribute, where coordination is needed, we will coordinate with NATO. That is why I invited the NATO Secretary General to the meeting. In a very constructive spirit, we agreed to support the African Union in complementarity. Informal meetings will be held during the coming hours and days to put everything in place at a technical level. After the meeting in Addis Ababa, we will be able to gauge what exactly are the requirements in the field.
The European Union has enjoyed very good relations with the African Union since it was founded. On that basis we will build this support mission in Darfur."