Top diplomat confirms continuation of EU delegation in Gabon

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Thursday that the EU for now is not planning to evacuate its personnel from coup-hit Gabon as the “situation is calm.”

Speaking to reporters ahead of an informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Toledo, Spain, Borrell said recent events in the Central African country “give ground for preoccupation but we are not doing evacuation like in Niger.”

A group of high-ranking Gabonese military officers on Wednesday said they had seized power, and annulled results of the recently held general elections.

Borrell stressed the “situation is calm at the moment, there is no violence” in Gabon that would justify the evacuation of the EU delegation.

He asserted that “a military coup is not a solution” even if “there might have been irregularities around” Saturday’s polls.

The EU is “working on the diplomatic front” and analyzing the developments, he added.

Meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers

The EU foreign affairs ministers will again meet on Thursday to discuss the union’s response to the war in Ukraine and the situation in Africa’s Sahel region. The meeting is being hosted by Spain, which assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1.

Joined by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the ministers will discuss support for Ukraine, as well as diplomatic means to end the war, Borrell said.

According to the EU official, Moscow’s decision not to extend the Black Sea grain deal, which was brokered by Türkiye and the UN in July 2022, has “weakened Russia’s position” in international relations.

The meeting of EU foreign affairs also gives a chance for the bloc to “review its Africa policy,” he added.

The ministers will also assess the EU’s response to the military coup in Niger, including a sanctions regime.

John Azumah, secretary-general of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Hassoumi Massaoudou, foreign minister of Niger’s ousted government, will also participate in the meeting.

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