Vienna, 11 October 2012 – Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger today congratulated former Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, on his appointment as UN Special Envoy for the Sahel. Romano Prodi is one of the most experienced of all European politicians, who has gained an impressive profile in UN peacekeeping missions to Africa, Spindelegger said. He is thus the best choice for such a complex task. “I wish Romano Prodi every success for this new and challenging task. He can count on our support“, the Vice-Chancellor said.
Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger attended the Sahel Conference of the UN Secretary General in New York in September where he stressed the strategic importance of the Sahel region for the European Union. “We must offer the people in the Sahel both political and humanitarian support”, Spindelegger said. In this context he also referred to the recent increase in Austria’s financial support commitment for the Sahel, which now totals 2.7 million euros.
The political and humanitarian situation in the Sahel, and in Mali in particular, will also be on the agenda of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxemburg this coming Monday.
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213