BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is heading to West Africa this week, visiting Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to express Germany’s commitment to stability and developmental cooperation in the region and support for the countries’ fight against extremism.

Merkel’s office said Monday the chancellor will meet separately with the leaders of all three countries, and attend a meeting with the leaders of the so-called G5 Sahel countries including Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad in Ouagadougou on Wednesday.

She will also visit German soldiers stationed in Mali as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, meet with members of civil society, attend a discussion with students in Mali and visit the construction site of a women’s shelter in Niger.

She will visit Mali on Thursday and Niger on Friday.