Currently on a visit to Mali, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of Estonia, Kristjan Prikk said that the contribution of the international community remains crucial in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region.
‘Estonia is an active member of the international community and by participating in international operations we are helping to ensure security and stability, as well as fight the terrorism which, in turn, helps ensure our security in Europe,' Prikk added.
At the meeting with the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prikk emphasised that the government of Mali must find a political solution, the necessary foundation for which is being set by the effort of the international coalition to ensure security.
Permanent Secretary Prikk is in Mali this week with the French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly, Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, Portuguese Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho to meet the President of the Republic, Minister of Defence General Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele, and representatives of military operations, as well as the UN and European Union leaders in the region. Permanent Secretary Prikk will also meet with Estonian troops serving in Mali, and receive an overview of their service.
In his remarks, Prikk also emphasized the importance of Estonia’s contribution in Mali. ‘The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) recently gave a mandate to increase the presence of Estonian troops in Mali this year as part of Operation Barkhane. Within the framework of the operation, Estonia’s mechanised infantry platoon will continue to serve at the French base in Gao, and we will also be participating in the Task Force Takuba with Special Forces,’ Prikk added.
In 2020, in total of up to 95 Estonian troops will participate in the French-led Operation Barkhane, in Mali this. In addition, Estonia will also contribute up to 20 troops to the UN mission MINUSMA and the European Union's training mission EUTM Mali.
More info: roland.murof[at]mod.gov[dot]ee