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EU to negotiate directly with AU — no longer with individual countries

EU to negotiate directly with AU — no longer with individual countries
February 04
08:07 2017

Geoffrey Onyeama, the foreign affairs minister, says the African Union (AU) has resolved that the European Union (EU) will henceforth negotiate with AU as a body rather than with individual African countries.

The minister disclosed this on Friday, in Abuja, at a press conference of the post-28th AU summit of head of states and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“AU is saying henceforth if EU is going to negotiate it should only negotiate with AU,” Onyeama said.

“But if any of the EU member countries wants to negotiate with any African country individually that is acceptable, but not EU as a block to negotiate with any African country,” he said.

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“Where there will be negotiation with EU for instance, as you know very often the EU will come to negotiate with an African country.”

The minister said the resolution was one of the decisions arrived at by the head of states and government at the summit.

Other issues discussed include the reformation of the summit where a committee plans the minimisation of the union operations and ensuring the attendance of head of states.

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The committee is to chaired by Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda.

“The committee is to look at the number of different sub organisations, its agencies and make it leaner to get to a stage that is manageable,” he said.

The summit also resolved to disallow the representation of head of states by ministers at summit, emphasising the need for the president or vice president to be present.

Onyeama said the adoption of ECOWAS, WEMOWA model of funding the AU which was 0.2 per cent of eligible import tax of any countries was also discussed.

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Using the model, he said, will cost the organisation “four times the amount it needs to cover its budget.”

The organisation was said to have concluded that surplus should be lodged with African Development Bank rather than being returned.

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