This was the first meeting of Foreign Relations ministers from the two continents, and was organised following a recommendation from the Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the AU and the EU, held on 29th and 30th November 2017, in Ivory Coast.
This first ministerial meeting was co-chaired by the Senior Representative from the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs from Rwanda and President of the AU Executive Council, Richard Sezibera.
The session provided ministers from the two continents with the opportunity to debate various questions of interest, such as economic cooperation, peace, security and governance, migration and mobility, world cooperation, and the state of relations between the two continents after 2020.
Following various exchanges, the ministerial meeting adopted a joint communique, which reflects the main conclusions on the questions debated and the satisfaction of the parties with the view to continue cooperation in all areas. The ministers also considered the need for the process in hand to address the common interests of the two continents in order to meet specific objectives.
The ministerial session concluded with a desire to set up closer, stronger association between the AU and the EU, and favourably welcomed the initiatives adopted by the Heads of State from the two continents. The Equatorial Guinea delegation was led by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and cooperation, Bonifacio Mitogo Bindang, accompanied by the Director General for International Organisations and the Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea before the African Union, Mari Cruz Andeme Evuna, and Crisantos Obama Ondo, our country's ambassador to Ethiopia.
Aside from the ministerial meeting, and at the request of Romania, Bonifacio Mitogo Bindang and his team met a Romanian delegation in an adjacent room. The meeting was overseen by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Monica Doria, who reported to the Equatoguinean deputy minister of the intention of her country to initiate an approach framework to strengthen bilateral relations with Equatorial Guinea. She also praised the efforts of the Government of our country to promote sustainable development, and its growing role on an African level in particular, and on a global level in general.
In reply, Mitogo Bindang recognised that Romania had played an important role in the training of human resources in Equatorial Guinea, and for that reason he declared the interest of the Government of our country in strengthening the relations of friendship and cooperation with Romania; relations which are expected to be initiated within a reasonable period of time with the establishment of formal contact between the Foreign Affairs ministers from the two countries and the mutual appointment of honorary consuls.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Equatorial Guinea's Press and Information Office.
Text: Clemente Ela Ondo Onguene and Luis Ndong Owono (DGPWIGE)
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