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13.12.2007 Politics

President Back From Lisbon

By Daily Guide

PRESIDENT JOHN Agyekum Kufuor has returned from Lisbon, Portugal, where he attended the second African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) summit.

He was met on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport, when the British Airways aircraft, Boeing 767, touched the ground at 9:55pm on Tuesday December 11, by Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. J. B Danquah; the IGP, Patrick Acheampong; and some ministers of state.

Briefing journalists, Andrew Awuni, presidential spokesman described the AU-EU summit as a historic one which offered both African and European leaders the opportunity to meet and discuss issues as equals.

The Lisbon summit, he said, provided a platform for the two continents to draft a new partnership regime based on equality and mutual respect, adding that it further set the stage for the formation of a new strategy and action plan which was adopted by the leaders of both sides.

He said a declaration dubbed the 'Lisbon Declaration' was made at the end of the summit to replace the old situation where the West served as donors to African countries.

Mr Awuni noted that the new relationship of shared value and common goals, fair trade and respect for human rights would replace the traditional relationship where the EU was a donor and Africa, the receiver or the “master–servant relationship”.

He pointed out that what was left now was the implementation and monitoring of the new strategy and action plan to ensure that it worked for the good of both continents.

“A roadmap that specifies what each country is expected to do before the next summit is projected to guarantee that achievements of the summit.”

President Kufuor and Portuguese Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, co- chaired the event.

The first EU-Africa summit was held in Cairo, Egypt, in 2002.

By Emelia Ennin

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