Italian Premier Prodi accents integration at AU Summit

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- The changing international environment makes integration, in Africa as in Europe, increasingly less a matter of choice and increasingly more a necessity, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi told African leaders meeting here Monday.
Addressing the Eighth Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly as an invited guest, Prodi said it was not just a matter of joining forces to react to global threats such as terrorism, climate change and pandemics.
Underlining the need for Europeans and Africans to work together on issues of common concern, the Italian premier said: "Above all, it is a question of jointly seizing on the opportunities which the globalised world is making available.
" Prodi mentioned development, migration, science, international trade, innovation, energy and the environment as areas in which cooperation could bring about changes from which both Africa and Europe must benefit.
"It is no coincidence that science, technology and the environment, which top the agenda of the Summit, are the same concerns on which Europe is working at this moment," he said.
Regarding innovation, environment and energy, Prodi said Europe's policies needed a strong external dimension encompassing Africa because they are phenomena that affect everyone, and are interconnected and cannot be restricted to specific geographical areas.
On peace building, he said Europe should open its arms to Africa and commit itself to work for development of peace and prosperity with a new approach based on a true sense of solidarity.
"With this spirit, Europe should look at its past and its responsibilities.
"We are not here today in the name of our respective nationalisms, but rather in the belief of a common destiny that can allow us to look at the future with optimism," he added.

29 january 2007 13:13:00

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