Africa-eu Summit


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EU-Africa Summit Shows Discord on Trade, Mugabe (Update2)

By Mike Cohen and Anabela Reis

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- European Union and African leaders clashed over proposed trade accords as they ended a two-day summit already punctuated by discord over Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's human-rights record.

``I want it to be clear that Africa refuses'' the current European trade proposals, Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade told a press conference at the meeting in Lisbon today. ``We want to have a rapport, but we have to define this together.''

A series of preferential trade agreements between the 27- nation EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries is due to expire at the end of the year. The EU is pressing for the adoption of new economic partnership agreements, which are often referred to as EPAs and cover trade in agricultural and industrial goods, services, investment regulations and competition policy.

``We've been negotiating for months,'' German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters. ``We must certainly see if Europe can be more flexible and if Africa can be more flexible. The African states have in some cases very different interests, as do the Europeans. We don't have the kind of time to say we'll simply wait for another two years.''


While Botswana opposes the EU's proposals to include services in the treaties, it is concerned protracted talks will result in its beef farmers losing market access, Mopati Merafe, the country's foreign minister said.

``We would be very unhappy if no agreement was reached by Dec. 31, which would result in the termination of our preferences for beef,'' he said. ``We are the biggest exporter of beef to Europe. We have to secure our beef market.''

Chancellor Merkel said compromise was still possible.

``If we don't get an agreement, several of the better developed African countries will be in a worse position on trade with the EU,'' she said. ``It won't impact on the poorest countries but rather all those states that have reached a certain level of development.''

The summit saw the signing of an accord pledging closer cooperation in addressing poverty, countering terrorism and promoting good governance.

``This Lisbon summit will no doubt be remembered as a milestone in the relations between Europe and Africa,'' Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates said at the closing ceremony. ``We have had the courage to identify and talk about the problems. We go forward to meet our major challenges.''

A follow-up meeting will be held soon, which Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has offered to host, Socrates added.

Investment, Aid

About two in five Africans live on less than a dollar a day, and the continent needs to boost investment and aid levels to trim their ranks. Africa's increasingly close ties with China and India have given it more clout in negotiating the terms under which it secures assistance from the EU.

``Now there is competition for African resources, competition for influence on the continent,'' Romy Chevallier, an analyst at the Institute for International Affairs in Johannesburg said in a telephone interview. ``It gives Africa the opportunity to decide what partner it wants, how it wants to engage.''

Trade issues weren't the only divisive issue on the conference agenda.

African leaders insisted Mugabe be allowed to attend, prompting Portugal to make an exception to an EU travel ban on the Zimbabwean leader and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to boycott the meeting. Merkel told the summit Mugabe ``damaged the image of the new Africa.''

Merkel's comments reflected the views of all the EU's 27 member nations, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said in an interview yesterday.

``We cannot accept the political leaders'' of Zimbabwe, he said. ``We are very unsatisfied with the situation.''

Zimbabwe's Inflation

Zimbabwe is in its ninth year of recession, has the world's highest inflation rate and is facing widespread shortages of fuel, food and other commodities. African leaders have been loath to criticize Mugabe, 83, viewed by some as an icon in the struggle against colonial rule.

Senegal's Wade said people were not properly informed about the situation in Zimbabwe.

``The true information unfortunately has not been provided,'' he said. ``You can't let a conflict between two countries become a conflict between two blocks.''

Mugabe blames his country's economic woes on Britain, the country's former colonial power, accusing it of reneging on promises to fund land reform.

``Life should not come to a standstill simply because there are problems in Zimbabwe,'' Botswana's Merafe said. ``We don't want any condescending attitude in dealing with Africa.''

To contact the reporters on this story: Mike Cohen in Lisbon at ; Anabela Reis in Lisbon at .


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Merkel told the summit Mugabe ``damaged the image of the new Africa.''
I see that German Biiaatch appointed herself as attack dog and running her MudderfuKKKing mouth about Mugabe...........

......that German Biiatch didn't say one Motherfocking Word about Reparations owed by Germany to Namibia and other places they colonized around the world.

German MudderfuKKKerZ done paid off God's Chosen People..........

.....but refuse to pay Reparations for their theft at Gunpoint from Africans.


Its really good to see that the AU is standing up to the EU unreasonable practices, its trut that Africa had no choice to deal with the EU because there was no other competition, but now China is coming in, (which does not make them better than the EU, all they want is the resources, act nice now and act like a ################ later once you have gotten what u need) this opens the door for other possible trade other than the EU, now the EU is noticing this,now they want to give the threating speech as if you don't do this,this is what is going to happen, they are trying to do the same towards CARICOM. And all this talk about mugabe, Mugabe has lost his way when he came to power yes, but he is still seen as a liberator of the people from colonial rule. I think if the people of a nation speaks and supports their leader, who the hell or anyone else that are not from that country to criticize? He wasn't a problem until he started taking back the lands from whites and giving it to the rightful people of the land , now all of a sudden he's a problem.

The EU and the US has drained Africa so much in blood and misery, from a non white history stand point, these Nations will forever be remembered as the DEVILS of the earth.


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