ECOWAS ministers meet to discuss regional security, counter-terrorism

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence were due to open their emergency meeting in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Monday to discuss regional security, including the draft ECOWAS counter-terrorism strategy and its implementation plan, among other issues.

The ministers, meeting under the aegis of the Mediation and Security Council, would also discuss the regional draft political declaration and common position against terrorism.

An ECOWAS Commission statement made available to PANA here Monday said the strategy would facilitate the implementation of regional, continental and international instruments in combating terrorism and provide a common operational framework for community-wide action to prevent and eradicate terrorism and related crimes.

Specifically, the Commission said, it would enhance coordination among member states; strengthen national and regional capacities to detect, deter, intercept and prevent terrorism; promote criminal justice approach; prevent and combat violent religious extremism; harmonise responses and promote regional and international cooperation on terrorism.

Also, the complementary political declaration outlines actions to be undertaken by member states in confronting the menace of terrorism in the region in collaboration with partners and in the spirit of the relevant continental and international instruments.

The one-day meeting will also be briefed on the ongoing military operations in Mali by the French and African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), and the planned presidential and legislative elections scheduled for July 2013.

The meeting will also review progress of the parliamentary process in Guinea Bissau to adopt a new transitional road map leading to the holding of free and fair elections this year, as well as an update on the implementation of the country’s Defence and Security Sector Reform programme.

The report of the ministerial meeting will be considered by regional leaders during their two-day 42nd summit scheduled for Yamoussoukro, the Ivorian capital, from 27 Feb.
-0- PANA SEG 25Feb2013

25 february 2013 10:18:00

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