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Military operation in Central African Republic formally established

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council, EU ministers formally established the EU military operation in the Central African Republic, opening the way for its rapid deployment in the forthcoming weeks.

The Foreign Affairs Council decision adopted on Monday 10 February creates the legal basis for the operation to the Central African Republic (CAR). The new military operation, which has been given the name EUFOR RCA, will provide temporary support to secure the area around the capital city, Bangui. It will contribute to existing international efforts to protect the populations most at risk, ensuring that humanitarian aid can reach those who need it. Ministers also discussed the security and humanitarian crisis in CAR, and adopted conclusions.

Also in the Foreign Affairs Council, ministers looked at the EU's Eastern Partnership, and in particular discussed recent events in Ukraine. The Council expressed its concern at the continuing political crisis, and called on all actors to refrain from violence and radical action. The Council expressed the EU's commitment to supporting Ukraine's reform. Ministers also underlined that, on the basis of a new Ukrainian government, the EU would be ready to further assist Ukraine to find a sustainable way out of its difficult economic situation.

EUFOR RCA

The force headquarters for EU's military operation in the Central African Republic will be Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, with the operation headquarters in Larissa, Greece. The common costs of the operation, which will be operational for up to 6 months, are estimated at €25.9 million. The operation will provide temporary support to secure the area around Bangui before handing over to African partners.

Other topics on the agenda

Ministers adopted negotiating directives for a political dialogue and cooperation agreement with Cuba. A bilateral agreement would strengthen the EU-Cuba relationship and provide a framework for constructive dialogue and improved cooperation.

The Foreign Affairs Council also discussed and adopted conclusions on:

  • EU priorities at the UN human rights fora ahead of the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 17 February
  • the deteriorating security situation in Iraq
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia, following the adoption of their new democratic constitution
  • Yemen, following the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference

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