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Pistelli in Eastern Africa: AU a major interlocutor

The African Union gave the green light to the idea of dialogue between the EU and Eastern Africa, including Egypt and Libya. The aim of the initiative, promoted by Italy and supported by the European Commission, is the joint management of migration flows with the countries of origin and transit as part of a more general migration policy of which Mare Nostrum is an integral part. “The African Union is an indispensable interlocutor in all areas of our cooperation with the continent, from support for peace and security to economic and social issues”, stated Deputy Minister Pistelli. Pistelli met with President of the Commission Dlamini Zuma, Commissioner for Peace and Security Chergui and Commissioner for Social Affairs Kaloko at AU headquarters. “Africa is exporting a work force with this migration phenomenon”, the Commission president pointed out, “so what is needed is a long-term partnership that can help the continent to create job opportunities”.

Pistelli met in Addis Ababa with his Ethiopian counterpart, Deputy Minister Berhane Gebrechristos. “Italy sees Ethiopia as a critically important partner on the African scenario, Pistelli pointed out, “and we solidly support the delicate role being played by Addis Ababa in stabilising the Horn of Africa”. Other discussion topics included development cooperation and bilateral economic/trade relations. In this regard, Deputy Minister Pistelli announced the imminent opening of an ICE office in Addis Ababa, citing it as “further tangible proof of a commitment to raising the level of bilateral relations with a rapidly-growing partner”.

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