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Baerbock pledges support to UN missions even after Mali withdrawal

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has pledged Germany's continued support to the UN blue helmet missions.

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Baerbock pledges support to UN missions even after Mali withdrawal

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has pledged Germany's continued support to the UN blue helmet missions. The Bundeswehr will "withdraw in a structured manner" from the Minusma UN mission in Mali by May 2024, Baerbock said on Wednesday in the Bundestag. But the UN peacekeeping missions remained "a central component of our foreign and security policy".

The day before, the federal government had decided to end the German military operation in the West African crisis country Mali after ten years. Overall, however, Germany will "expand" its commitment in the unstable Sahel region together with its partners, said Baerbock - for example in Mali's democratically governed neighboring country Niger.

Baerbock rejected the opposition's criticism of the long duration of the Bundeswehr withdrawal from Mali: Because Germany is a "reliable partner", it cannot simply "say head over heels: We have changed our minds."

Baerbock spoke in the Bundestag debate about her ministry's budget for 2023. The current year is a "terrible year," she said, referring to the Russian war against Ukraine. She is concerned about global food security; she is glad that Germany is making another billion euros available for this. Overall, Germany will spend 2.7 billion euros on humanitarian aid in the coming year, 20 times more than ten years ago.

According to the budget draft, the Federal Foreign Office is to receive a total of around 7.5 billion euros from the federal budget in the coming year - a slight increase compared to the 7.1 billion euros in the current year. Baerbock's ministry should be able to spend 3.5 billion euros on securing peace and stability. EUR 914.2 million of this relates to payments to the United Nations and in the international arena. This year, a total of 4.1 billion euros was still available for this area.

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