The European Union could send a military training mission to Mozambique amid a growing jihadist insurgency, according to the bloc’s top foreign affairs official.
“The Mozambique government has been asking for help,” top diplomat Josep Borrell told reporters on his way into talks with EU defence ministers in Brussels on Thursday.
The EU will try to send a training mission “in order to contain the security situation in Mozambique,” Borrell said. The east African country is “more and more an issue of concern,” the senior official said.
The EU currently has missions in Mali, the Central African Republic and Somalia.
The main focus of Thursday’s talks is an ongoing strategic review of EU defence policy, with quick deployments or reactions to crises often hampered by a need for consensus among the 27 member states.
Ministers are to discuss the possibility of creating a fledgling “entry force” of 5,000 military personnel from different EU countries, according to a senior EU official.
The idea has the backing of 14 member states, the source said, though Thursday will be only a first discussion.
For the first time, the EU states should also give the green light for non-EU states like the United States, Norway and Canada to take part in joint European defence projects, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said.
The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) programme aims to foster more jointly financed EU defence initiatives to encourage cooperation.
Germany sees this as “an enormous step in the practical capabilities of … European troops,” as well as a big step forward for transatlantic relations and cooperation between the EU and NATO.