EU-Maghreb-Africa, more support for dialogue, cooperation

Congress in Dakhla organized by Crans Montana Forum

16 March, 11:04

    Congress organized by the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, Morocco Congress organized by the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, Morocco

    (by Gaetana D'Amico) (ANSAmed) - DAKHLA (MOROCCO) - Dialogue between Europe, Maghreb and Africa needs new impulse in order to boost cooperation and confront crises which do not concern a single country anymore but everyone - regardless of whether they are about Islamist terror, the economic crisis or immigration.

    This issue was at the center of the second and last day of work at a congress organized by the Crans Montana Forum in cooperation with Isesco (Islamic Educational scientific and Cultural Organization), in Dakhla, in the heart of Western Sahara.

    The event, sponsored by King Mohammed VI, saw 300 heads of State, ministers and former cabinet members, as well as diplomats, NGOs, companies and individuals from 112 countries including 36 African States gather with, at the center of the agenda, the need to take a new path in relations between Europe, Maghreb and Africa.

    ''We don't have in common just history but also the current crises that range from the threat posed by Islamic terrorism to the economic crisis'', said former French Premier Dominique de Villepin. ''We should use our experience for the benefit of Africa, put our resources together to be more ambitious, realize new projects to go beyond Europe'', he continued. ''As far as the integration of Africa is concerned, new mechanisms of stabilization are necessary and Morocco, in this context, can play an important role, thanks to its crossroads position as well as its strong economy. France, however, also has its responsibility to renew its relations with the South''.

    ''Europe is responsible for this new dialogue with Maghreb'', said Spain's ex-Premier José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who believes that ''dialogue and new alliances should be part of a new agenda''. Such an agenda, according to Zapatero, should include Turkey and it is ''a mistake not to admit it into Europe''. The former premier also spoke about the crisis in the Middle East, stressing that one of the main causes of the conflict is that the State of Palestine has not been recognized yet. ''Many countries have recognized it and we hope their number will increase. It would be helpful to solve the radicalization of Islam'', he claimed.

    ''Maghreb, at the center between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, could benefit from trade with Africa'', said the former premier of Kenya, Raila Amollo Odinga. ''But we should work together to confront the security issue''.

    Among other themes discussed during the many sessions of the congress were also tourism as a tool of economic development and integration; support for the young as a key force of Africa and cooperation South-South; new strategies of cooperation to prevent threats to health; the modernization of infrastructures and transport of Atlantic Sahara, considered a strategic hub for half of Africa; an improved management of Africa's natural resources.(ANSAmed).

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