22:05 GMT17 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Security in Libya and the African region of Sahel are interlinked, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin.

    "Discussion with President @EmmanuelMacron at #BerlinConference on Libya: Security in Libya and Sahel are interlinked. The @EU_Commission is committed to continue its engagement security & development nexus together with all partners, especially G5 countries, African Union & UN," von der Leyen said on Twitter.

    The conference on Libyan settlement was held on Sunday in Berlin, with representatives of Russia, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, the European Union, the United Nations and other countries invited to attend.

    France is conducting Operation Barkhane in the Sahel and Sahara, the goal of which is to stabilize the region and fight terrorism. As part of this operation, France cooperates with Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad (G5 Sahel). According to the French Defence Ministry, approximately 4,500 troops are involved in the operation.

    The Sahel ("edge" in Arabic) is a bio-geographic zone of Africa, adjacent to the Sahara from the south in the form of semi-deserts, gradually turning into semi-savannas. The outskirts of the world's largest desert stretches a few hundred kilometers wide from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Cape Verde are located on the territory of the Sahel in an area comparable to Western Europe.

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    Emmanuel Macron, Ursula von der Leyen, Sahel region, European Commission, EU, Middle East, Africa, Libya
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