Secretary’s Remarks: On the Occasion of the State of Eritrea’s National Day

On behalf of the government and the people of the United States, congratulations to the people of Eritrea on the 26th anniversary of your nation on May 24th. As the country celebrates, we share the hopes of the Eritrean people for a free, peaceful, and productive future.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: Secretary’s Remarks: On the Occasion of the State of Eritrea’s National Day

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The African Union and European Commissions Launch the Call for Proposals for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (GMES & Africa)

The African Union Commission and European Commission have launched the Call for Proposals for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (GMES & Africa) Grants. The Call is an open invitation for eligible institutions across Africa to apply for the GMES & Africa Grants.

GMES & Africa is a 30 Million Euro programme co-funded by the European Commission through the funded Pan African Envelope (29.5 Million Euro) and the African Union Commission (0.5 Million Euro). It is an Earth Observation system designed to respond to global needs to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. The programme, officially launched in November, 2016 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, is also a priority under the African Space Policy and Strategy, adopted by the African Union Heads of State and Government. It is user-centric and provides services for the environment and security, as well as information for policymakers, scientists, businesses and the public.

Under the Agreement, AUC is the delegated authority for the implementation of GMES & Africa, which contributes to addressing increasing challenges Africa is facing in climate change, drought, desertification and other environmental hazards. It is also a means of harnessing and leveraging the continent’s potential in utilizing Earth observation data for breakthroughs in civil security, health, agriculture among other sustainable development trajectories.

In order to rollout the implementation of the GMES & Africa initiative, three thematic areas were agreed upon and prioritized through consultations with African stakeholders: Long-Term Management of Natural Resources; Marine and Coastal Areas; and Water Resources Management. Grants will be issued in two lots according to the Water & Natural Resources service, and the Marine and Coastal Resources service. The two services will cover 23 applications and each application could cover the following actions either singularly or in conjunction with others: consolidation of applications already operational in the region; extension of operational applications to other regions; and development of new applications up to the operational stage of the product development cycle: definition, specification, development and operation.

The Call is an opportunity for African institutions to apply for the GMES & Africa Grants, which will be implemented using the African Union’s procurement and grant management procedures. The launch of the GMES & Africa Call was preceded by continent-wide consultations and information sessions with Regional Economic Communities and potential applicants for the Grant, to sensitize them about the Grant and strengthen their capacities in meeting the requirements stipulated in the Guidelines on responding to the Call for Proposals.

The Call is accessible at
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Source:: The African Union and European Commissions Launch the Call for Proposals for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (GMES & Africa)

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Comment by the Information and Press Department on the latest developments in Libya

We have to state that the military and political situation in Libya has grown worse lately.

On May 18, units of the so-called Misrata’s Third Force and Benghazi Defence Brigades affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia (a local branch of Al-Qaeda), reportedly carried out an armed raid on the Brak al-Shati air base near the city of Sabha in the south of the country. The attack was accompanied by a massacre of Libyan National Army servicemen stationed at the base. According to reports, over 140 servicemen were killed. Civilians who were working at the base or happened to be in that area are also among the victims of the raid. The Libyan Air Force carried out retaliatory strikes on the attackers’ positions. At present, the Libyan National Army has reportedly regained control over the air base.

Moscow is deeply worried over the surge in tensions in Libya. The killing of dozens of people, including civilians, deserves condemnation. What happened looks like a planned provocation aimed at disrupting the agreements reached in Abu Dhabi on May 2, 2017 by leaders from eastern and western Libya and reversing the emerging signs of progress in the intra-Libyan settlement in general.

We are repeating our persistent calls on all Libyan forces to refrain from the use of force and unilateral steps fraught with an escalation of the conflict and potential disastrous consequences for the Libyan statehood. We proceed from the premise that disputes must be resolved at the negotiating table within the framework of an inclusive dialogue based on the Skhirat political agreement, which was signed on December 17, 2015 and endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2259. It is necessary to prevent the political process in Libya from falling hostage to illegal armed formations waging subversive activities that threaten the interests of preserving the country’s territorial integrity and unity.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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Source:: Comment by the Information and Press Department on the latest developments in Libya

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Wang Yi Holds Talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdoulaye Diop of Mali

On May 21, 2017, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdoulaye Diop of Mali in Bamako.

Wang Yi said that China and Mali are good friends and old friends, and bilateral friendship lasts more than half a century, and becomes even firmer as time goes by. At present, Mali is in the middle of a critical situation. China firmly supports Mali’s efforts in upholding its sovereignty, security and unity, staunchly backs its peace and reconciliation process, steadfastly supports the country to explore a development path suitable to its national situation, and firmly supports Mali’s just cause of opposing and fighting against terrorism. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always spoken for Mali from a sense of justice on the international stage, stood up for Mali’s legitimate rights and interests, and is willing to reinforce coordination and cooperation with the Malian side in international affairs, so as to play an effective role in safeguarding the legitimate rights of Mali, African countries as well all developing countries.

Wang Yi said that China is a developing country though, yet China is willing to help Mali to accelerate its development and encourages Chinese enterprises to invest and establish business in Mali. In the next step, China hopes to, together with Mali, give full play to the unique advantage of the traditional friendly relations between the two countries, focus on helping Mali to level up its agricultural and industrial development, cultivate the three major security systems of infrastructure construction, human resource development, peace and security, help Mali establish its own industrial system step by step, reinforce its capability of independent development, and ultimately realize actual economic independence after realizing its political independence.

Abdoulaye Diop said that people of China and Mali always enjoy traditional friendship through thick and thin. Mali appreciates the significant assistance China has provided since the independence of Mali. The Malian side totally agrees with the notion of deepening bilateral development and cooperation proposed by the Chinese side and expressed its willingness to work with the Chinese side to reinforce the integration of development strategies, take the implementation of outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as an opportunity to constantly elevate the level of bilateral practical cooperation. The Malian side speaks highly of China’s role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and of China’s actions to keep speaking for Mali from a sense of justice on the international stage and of its support to Mali’s efforts to uphold its national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The Malian side thanks China for sending troops to participate in the UN Peace-keeping mission in Mali. During the mission, the conscientious Chinese young peace-keeping soldiers devoted their valuable lives to Mali’s peace-keeping cause. Mali welcomes China to play a more significant role in international affairs, and praises China for supporting the righteous position of African countries on the reform of Security Council. The Malian side will firmly adhere to the Ezulwini consensus, and make efforts to correct the impartial history of African countries together with China and other African countries.

The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on international and regional topics of common interests.

After the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers jointly met with the press. Wang Yi also visited and paid condolence to the staff of Chinese Embassy in Mali, Chinese peace-keeping soldiers performing tasks in UN Peace-keeping mission in Mali, Chinese medical team and Chinese language teaching volunteers in Mali.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

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Source:: Wang Yi Holds Talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdoulaye Diop of Mali

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