Third Africa-EU summit to focus on economic growth, security

08:50, July 22, 2010      

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The third Africa-European Union summit scheduled to be held in Libya late this year will focus on the economic growth and peace and security of the African continent, a top official of the African Union (AU) Commission said here on Wednesday.

Rene N'Guettia Kouassi, director for economic affairs at the AU Commission told reporters here that there is also emerging consensus that key issues like climate change and food security should be discussed at the meeting that will be held from Nov. 29 to 30.

Both continents are also expected to assess their partnerships and agree on priorities of their future cooperation.

Africa is currently facing a range of civil conflicts from the Somalia crisis to the Darfur crisis in Sudan.

Experts have also warned that most of the countries on the continent will not be able to meet the 2015 target of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Kouassi who was speaking on the sides of the ongoing AU summit here said that one of the challenges Africa is facing in its cooperation with the EU is the increasing pressure on African countries to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

"The EU has said if we don't sign the EPAs, we would be violating several of the agreements of the World Trade Organization. We do have our interests that need to be defended; we still have situations that have to be dealt with," he said.

He said there is need for more discussion on the EPA despite some countries having already signed the agreements.

The second Africa-EU summit took place in Lisbon, Portugal in 2007 where both sides agreed to move from donorship to partnership and to address together the new challenges and opportunities at the global level.

The first summit took place in Cairo, Egypt in 2000 where the European and African leaders expressed their commitment to come together and give a new dimension to their partnership.

Source: Xinhua


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