Chief of AU commission hopeful over outcome of Africa-EU summit

09:21, November 29, 2010      

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Chairman of the African Union Commission Jean Ping said here Sunday he is hopeful over the outcome of the third Africa-EU Summit, to open on Monday in the Libyan capital Tripoli, thanks to the one-year preparation made for the event.

Speaking to reporters after a preparatory meeting attended by African foreign ministers on the eve of the summit, Jean Ping said there has been long-time and good preparation for the summit, which, he believes, will be successful.

The foreign ministers' meeting aimed to coordinate the positions of African countries, and review draft documents to be adopted at the summit, he said.

The foreign ministers will brief their heads of state and government on the meeting's results, Ping said.

Asked whether some African countries are not pleased with the partnership with EU, adopted at the second summit held in Lisbon in 2007, Jean Ping defended the deal, hailing the general momentum of the Africa-EU partnership.

The two sides have had good cooperation within the framework of the partnership, such as on peace and security, and many positive projects have been going on, he said.

Yet, he said the two sides still need to further improve and strengthen their partnership.

As for the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which EU has been negotiating with Africa since 2002 but remained hard to be signed, Jean Ping said the issue may be discussed at the summit, adding that as differences still exist, the agreement is not likely to be signed in the near future.

Jean Ping also confirmed that the illegal immigration issue, one of the major concerns of EU nations, will be discussed at the summit.

The summit, bringing together 53 African countries and 27 EU member states, will review progress in their partnerships in the past three years and agree on priorities of future cooperation.

Source: Xinhua


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