Didier Reynders applauds the adoption of the conclusions of the Council of Foreign Affairs about the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region

date: 16 December 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is attending the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels today. He is pleased that the Council has adopted the conclusions about the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region.

In these conclusions the Council acknowledges the important changes that have taken place in the DRC since July, above all, the restoration of authority in the east of the country, the end of the M23 rebellion and the conclusion of discussions in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

Didier Reynders believes that these changes that are taking place offer the Great Lakes Region a unique opportunity to tackle the underlying problems with the support of the international community. Indeed, these are the cause of the instability in the region. By tackling these issues, it will be possible to bring to an end the suffering of the local population.

The Minister is pleased that the Council has heard the Belgian call to promote regional and national cooperation projects. The conclusions confirm the importance of a global and co-ordinated approach on the part of the donor countries.

Didier Reynders recalls the necessity to continue reforms in the security sector and to build on the results obtained during the two European police (EUPOL) and defence (EUSEC) missions.

The Minister also encouraged the DRC to continue reforms aimed at improving economic and democratic governance. Special attention should continue to be paid to elections and to recommendations of the EU monitoring mission.

And finally, Didier Reynders emphasises that it is important for Burundi to maintain open election procedures for the elections of 2015 as per the Arusha Agreement.