AU, EU discuss ways of taking partnership, cooperation to higher level
The African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) reiterated commitment to pushing forward their partnership and cooperation on priority areas in particular, including security, climate change, trade and investment, as well as youth and women issues.
This came at the AU-EU College-to-College meeting on Thursday at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, which has discussed ways of strengthening cooperation between the two institutions on topical issues, including, climate change, sustainable development, migration, job creation, peace and security, confronting both continents.
In a joint press conference, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, said the two sides have discussed issues of cooperation and development, among others, whereby they have stressed the need to strengthen multilateralism.
With regards to peace and security, Mahamat stated that they have discussed situations in Libya, the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin regions and also Somalia.
He reiterated concern over situations in Libya where fighting is going on, and ceasefire as well as the arms embargo are not respected.
"With trade and investment, the AU has announced the biggest project that is the AfCFTA, which is strongly supported by EU; and this AfCFTA (Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement) is one of the biggest markets in the world and actually the EU which is our main trading partner; so, this is something of interest whereby we both are working together," said Mahamat.
Speaking on her part, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, noted that Europe and Africa are natural partners, and they are working together exchanging experiences, knowledge and look for win-win situations.
Speaking on AfCFTA, the President has hailed the role the initiative plays in boosting investments from both sides.
"We agree that it (AfCFTA) is a very interesting project on the level of the EU and AU to open business opportunity, investment opportunities, where investors from both sides for example investors from Europe is, of course, more attractive to have, to look at one entity, which is FTA, to deal with 20 or 30 regularities, but you have to do with one system of regulation from FTA, I am convinced will boost a lot prosperity and business opportunity that are necessary," she said. (Xinhua)