EU condemns 'foul assassination' of French aid worker
The European Union on Monday condemned the "foul assassination" of French hostage Michel Germaneau by Al-Qaeda militants in north Africa, vowing action to reinforce security in the region.
"We condemn this foul assassination in the strongest possible terms," said a declaration by EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.
"The deterioration in the situation in the Sahel-Saharan strip constitutes a growing security issue for this region at the gateway to Europe," the statement added.
It recalled that in the space of 18 months a dozen European nationals had been taken hostage, and two killed. Briton Edwin Dyer was killed last year.
The ministers said the EU and its international partners must "mobilise all the resources at our disposal to promote the security and development of the Sahel-Saharan strip."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy had already vowed to avenge the murder of the 78-year-old French aid worker.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said it had killed Michel Germaneau as revenge after French and Mauritanian soldiers stormed one of the group's camps in Mali and killed six militants.
© 2010 AFP