EU leader calls for true African-European alliance

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (PANA) – Calling for a true alliance between Africa and Europe “to face our challenges and seize our opportunities together”, European Union President Donald Tusk has highlighted peace and security as well as migration as issues that need political and operational cooperation.

“Both of our continents are undergoing great change. The global order is contested and fundamental principles are being challenged. But when we work together, we make a real difference,” President Tusk remarked Wednesday at the opening of the 5th African Union-European Union Summit in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan.

“Together we can shape the global agenda, strengthen the rules-based order and support effective multilateralism, based on our shared values and interests,” he told African and European leaders at the summit.

The EU chief welcomed the strengthening of strategic, political and operational cooperation og the two continents to address insecurity in a more comprehensive way.

Mr. Tusk said that more strategic cooperation on security is needed: to prevent conflicts, to fight terrorism and organised crime, to support the global non-proliferation regime, to bring development and security work closer, and to improve security capacity.

“Despite progress, Africa continues to face conflict and crises. So does Europe, for example on our eastern frontiers. And we both face the threat of terrorism and radicalisation, which targets our youth in particular.

“The EU strongly supports the objective of 'African solutions to African problems' in the area of peace and security. Since 2004 the EU has provided over 2.5 billion euros through the African Peace Facility alone,” he noted.

Regarding migration, Mr. Tusk stated: “It is in all our interests to have orderly migration that is more controlled, more humane and sustainable. The recent reports about the treatment of Africans - especially young people - by smugglers and traffickers are horrifying.”

Recalling that over 5,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean last year in their attempt to get to the European side, he said: “We cannot accept this. We also cannot accept the narrative that pits Africa and Europe against each other. The worst we can do is to start the blame game.

“What we need now are common solutions and stronger cooperation to save lives, protect people and allow them to live in dignity. Our common duty is to step up the fight against these unscrupulous criminals and bring them to justice.

“Migration will inevitably be an important part of our relationship for the years to come. We must identify common ground that will enable us to cooperate more concretely and more effectively,” he underlined.

With reference to the current situation in Libya, he said it needs help, not condemnation, from both European and African sides.
-0- PANA AR 29Nov2017

29 november 2017 17:05:53

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