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Questions left unanswered after EU-Africa summit

Questions left unanswered after EU-Africa summit
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The EU-Africa summit has closed with problems over trade and human rights left unresolved. The last summit between the two continents was seven years ago, and little had been achieved since in consolidating their relationship. But Ghana and African Union President John Kuffour hailed the latest talks: “After two days of exhaustive discussions we have adopted the Africa-EU strategy and its accompanying action plan which is a landmark achievement in the relations between Europe and Africa,” he said.

Immigration, peace and security, climate change, trade and human rights were all issues on the agenda before the summit got under way. Hosting the event, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said at the closing ceremony that he wanted to stress the fact that all the objectives set had been accomplished.

But European hopes of signing new Economic Partnership Agreements with African countries were dashed. The President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, said that most African leaders opposed these deals and wanted more negotiations to find a replacement for them.

The question of human rights was also not fully answered. Some African leaders showed disappointment at European condemnation of Zimbabwe’s controversial President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe himself described the criticism as European “arrogance.”

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