The latest developments in the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the complicated situation in the Sahel will be the main issues for EU foreign affairs ministers to address at the informal meeting of the Spanish Presidency to be held tonight and tomorrow in Toledo. The Gymnich-style meeting will be chaired by the acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, and the High Representative, Josep Borrell.
The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, will participate in the first session of the meeting. On his first visit to Spain, at the invitation of acting minister Albares, Kuleba will have the opportunity to report on the progress of the Ukrainian army's offensive against the illegal Russian aggression. The EU will also have the chance to reaffirm its unconditional support for the defence of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and the progress on President Zelensky's peace proposal.
Ukraine is a priority for the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Spanish Government, through its foreign minister, will once again reiterate its commitment to the return of peace in the country, which will continue for as long as necessary.
The second session of the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers will focus on the situation in the Sahel following the coup d'état in Niger on 26 July. The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Omar Touray, and the legitimate Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger, Hassoumi Massoudou, will participate in the meeting.
Niger is a preferential partner for the European Union and Spain in the fight against terrorism, organised crime, illegal human trafficking and climate change. ECOWAS has done everything possible diplomatically to get the military junta to return power to Niger's democratically elected constitutional President Mohammed Bazoum.
The coup d'état in Niger, which follows those in the Republic of Guinea, Burkina Faso and Mali, is a new destabilising factor that endangers EU policies on security and defence cooperation, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and increases risks, especially migration and illicit trafficking of all kinds.