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EU, AU seek to bolster relations as summit gets underway

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (L) is welcomed by President of the European Council Charles Michel (C) and France's President Emmanuel Macron (R)   -  
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Africa’s relations with other respective regions across the world came under the limelight in the ongoing AU-EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.

The President of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated the need for the African continent to strengthen its bond with the European Union for better economic progress.

"Africa is developing a diversity of partnerships that do not have the same history or the same scope as our partnership with Europe. These new partnerships are no less relevant and beneficial to Africa and, from this point of view, are worthy of respect and consideration," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the President of the African Union Commission.

The summit has brought together close to 40 leaders from different African countries as the EU is seeking to solidify its economic partners around the world amidst Russia and China's influence in Africa.

The EU is aiming to convince the 40 African leaders in Brussels that Europe is their "most reliable partner" by fleshing out an investment initiative that aims to mobilize 150 billion euros ($170 billion) of public and private funds over the next seven years.

On his arrival at the Brussels summit on Thursday, Senegalese President Macky Sall said there were still differences over the financing of fossil fuels, a sensitive issue as to how far the EU can go in financing such projects. 

According to observers, the African Union wants this to be taken into account in the final declaration to be issued on Friday.

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