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Greece contemplating sending troops to Mali

Featured Greece contemplating sending troops to Mali

Minister of Defense N. Panagiotopoulos participated on April 7, in the Ministerial teleconference for the Task Force TAKUBA organized under the Presidency of the French Minister of Defense Mrs. Florence Parley.

In his speech, the Minister stressed the importance of the actions of the EU, its member states and the "Task Force Takuba" for stability, security and development in the Sahel. Mr. Panagiotopoulos also stressed that the destabilization of the region affects the wider geopolitical environment of the EU, maritime security and creates migratory flows to Europe.

The Greek minister stressed that the opening of a Greek embassy in Senegal indicates the importance that Greece attaches to the region, as well as the possibility of contributing to initiatives and actions of France and other EU member states for the security of the region.

During the teleconference, which was attended by Defense Ministers from EU Member States, Norway, Serbia and Ukraine, as well as officials from Mali and Niger, annual conclusions were discussed after the establishment of TF TAKUBA as well as the operational planning of the coming years. The support of the participants in the operations against the Islamist extremists was also expressed to the countries of the region, in order to ensure peace in the region.

The TAKUBA Operational Force is a multinational Special Operations Force based in France. It currently consists of a French-Estonian mixed unit in Gao and a French-Czech unit in Menaka, while a Swedish unit with 3 Black Hawk helicopters and a medical unit was added earlier this year based in Liptako.

Greece still participates with two officers in the United Nations force (MINUSMA) in Mali. In August 2020, a proposal has been made by the French government for Greece to take an active part through participation in TF TAKUBA. The Greek government is initially positive about the proposal and is considering sending a Special Forces unit