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EU regrets Mali decision to withdraw from G5 Sahel

BRUSSELS, May 16 (KUNA) -- The European Union Monday expressed regret over the decision of the transitional authorities in Mali to withdraw their country from all organs and bodies of the G5 Sahel.
"Even if the decision to remain or not to remain a member of the G5 Sahel rests with each of the sovereign states that constitute it, we can only regret this decision," said EU High Representative Josep Borrell in a statement.
"This decision is in addition to other recent retreat decisions by the transitional authorities. In the current context, the EU can only be more concerned about the consequences of this choice on the security of the populations, in Mali and in the sub-region," he noted.
Borrell said that the creation of the G5 Sahel in 2014 was a response to a recognition by all its member states - including Mali - of the absolute need for enhanced cooperation and ultimately regional integration, the only way to meet the multiple challenges of the region.
Mali announced Sunday it was withdrawing as protest for being denied the Presidency of the G5 regional group, which also includes Mauritania, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger. (end) nk.hb