Press Releases, 11/17/2006
EU-SADC Ministerial Troika in Maseru
Press release 469/2006
17 November, 2006
The EU-SADC (Southern African Development Community) ministerial meeting in the framework of the EU-SADC dialogue was held in Maseru, Lesotho on 17 November. The meeting of ministers was co-chaired by Ms. Paula Lehtomäki, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development of Finland, representing the Presidency of the European Union and Honourable Timothy T. Thahane, Minister for Finance and Development planning, representing the current chair of SADC, Lesotho.
The EU Troika was also composed of Mrs. Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel, Director of African Affairs, Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Mr. Athanassios Theodorakis, Special Adviser of the European Commission, and Mr. Peter Clausen, Deputy Head of the Africa Unit, the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. The SADC delegation consisted of the SADC Double Troika i.e. Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, Zambia, Namibia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Angola as well as the SADC Secretariat.
Discussions focused on the different aspects of political dialogue between the EU and SADC. Both sides noted the positive developments in the SADC region such as progress in advancing the regional integration agenda of SADC and success of SADC in consolidating peace in the region.
The ministers discussed political situation of the region, in particular situations in the DRC, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. On Zimbabwe the EU raised concerns on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and its spill-over effects in the region. SADC indicated its continuing support to Zimbabwe in finding solutions to improve the situation and underlined the need for continuous, constructive engagement with the Republic of Zimbabwe. On Swaziland the ministers noted that the adoption of the Constitution and its implementation is of paramount importance in the promotion of democracy in the country. The ministers also noted that the successful Presidential, Parliamentary and provincial elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo represented a significant move towards the process of consolidating democracy and the beginning of national reconciliation and reconstruction.
The meeting also discussed issues related to implementation of the SADC regional integration and development agenda such as trade and economic liberalisation including EPA negotiations, infrastructure support for regional integration and programming for the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme.
The ministers agreed to continue regular EU-SADC dialogue including the next ministerial meeting foreseen to be held in 2008.