Today from Hiiraan Online:
Somalia accepted in EU-ACP partnership deal
Kuwait News Agency
Saturday, June 08, 2013
The ministerial meeting between the European Union and the countries of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Friday approved Somalia's request to access the Cotonou Agreement.
"The decision in relation to Somalia's accession opens a new chapter in relations between the EU and Somalia and constitutes a visible sign that Somalia has regained its status as a fully-fledged member of the international community," Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, told a press conference after the meeting in Brussels this afternoon.
Costello chaired the meeting on behalf of the EU as Ireland holds the current EU Presidency.
The EU-ACP Ministerial Council, which meets on an annual basis, is composed of representatives from over 70 African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States as well as representatives of EU Member States and the European Commission.
Since 2000, the Cotonou agreement has been the framework for the EU's relations with ACP.
Phandu Skelemani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Botswana, who chaired the meeting on behalf of ACP welcomed the decision to support Somalia's membership.
"Somalia will benefit greatly from this," he told the joint press conference.
On his part, the ambassador of Somalia to the EU, Nur Adde, said he feels honourd and grateful for the accession in the EU-ACP partnership agreement.
"After 20 years Somalia is now back to to EU-ACP family as a full member. This accession will open for Somalia a new avenue, a new opportunity of the Somalia people," added Adde.
Meanwhile, the ministerial meeting also approved over 31.5 billion euro of funding for EU development cooperation with ACP countries for the period 2014-20.
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