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Egypt reasserts support for efforts to bolster security, stability in African CEN-SAD region
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 24 - 06 - 2018

Staff report:
CAIRO, JUNE 24, 2018 - Egypt has reiterated its keenness on consolidating support for and ongoing co-operation with countries of the African Sahel and Saharan region in efforts to defeat terrorism and bolster security and stability.
The re-assertion of this policy position came in a statement from Defence Minister Gen Mohamed Zaki to a meeting of the defence ministers of Sahel and Saharan countries and was readout on his behalf by Assistant Defence Minister Major General Mohamed al-Kishki, according to the Armed Forces Spokesman's Facebook page.
The participating delegations sent a message of thanks and appreciation to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for honouring his pledge to establish the group's Regional Centre for Combatting Terrorism in Egypt in a record time.
Built on an area of 14,300 square metres and equipped with audio-visual aids and the most up-to-date computers, the centre aims at realising coordination and co-operation between CEN-SAD countries on issues of common concern, including in the foremost confronting terrorism and consolidating security, economic and political relations inter se, the Armed Forces spokesman said on his Facebook page.
Egypt is a member-state of the CEN-SAD Community which brings together Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, the Sudan, Togo and Tunisia.
In their message to the Egyptian leader, the participating delegations also thanked him for approving 1,000 scholarship grants to the military personnel from CEN-SAD countries to pursue security and defence studies in Egypt, according to the same Armed Forces page.
Meeting in the Nigerian capital Abuja for three days ending Saturday, the defence ministers of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) discussed an agenda that featured items on the modalities of co-operation in combatting terrorism and launching developmental efforts.
Concluding their three-day meeting, the CEN-SAD defence ministers issued the Abuja Declaration in which they stressed the necessity of intensifying co-operation in the field of security at both bilateral and multi-lateral levels with a view to confronting the threats to peace and stability across the African Sahel-Saharan region.
Delegations from the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Russia and Saudi Arabia took part in the conference in the capacity of observers. Seven regional and international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Arab League and the European Union also took part in the conference.
Launched at a summit conference of the heads of state of Sahel-Saharan countries in Tripoli, Libya, in February 1998, CEN-SAD evolved a year later into a regional economic community and has since entered into agreements with regional and international organisations for the promotion of collective action in political, cultural, economic and social fields.

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