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EU pledges direct support to Africa’s anti-terrorism efforts

Addis Ababa, February 27, 2020 (FBC) -The largest-ever delegation from the EU on Thursday met with African Union (EU) commissioners in Ethiopia for talks that mainly focused on security and trade.

Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said she came to African Union with “the largest [EU] delegation ever to go abroad” which sent “a strong message.”

“It is a strong sign of interest we have in Africa,” she said in her opening speech of the meeting held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The European Commission president led the delegation of 22 commissioners for a daylong meeting, the 10th since the establishment of partnership between the two multilateral bodies in 2005.

Von der Leyen showed European Union’s interest to tap into the recently endorsed African Continental Free Trade Area.

“EU is the largest investor in and trading partner to Africa, and we want to maintain that,” she said.

The European Commission head also pledged direct support to the African Union Commission and African countries for anti-terrorism efforts in Africa.

“We should enable Africa and African countries to defend themselves against terrorism,” Von der Leyen said in a joint news conference with AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

According to her, the European Commission peace and security support for Africa will come in the form of training, capabilities, surveillance, among others.

She said they have discussed deepening of AU-EU partnership in the areas of peace and security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, trade and investment, migration, among others.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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