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Foreign Minister Sameh Shoury took part on December 14th in the closing session of the Joint Retreat between the African Union Permanent Representatives Committee and the African Union Commission on the review of working methods, and evaluating the Union’s strategic partnerships, which took place on December 10 to 14 in Cairo.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Counselor Ahmed Abu Zeid said the two retreats were organized to review the situation, evaluate and come up with recommendations on the African Union working methods and strategic partnerships. The working methods meetings dealt with means to improve the performance of the African Union to be more effective thus to ensure realizing the Member States’ objectives in economic and social development and peace and security in the Continent. As for the strategic partnerships sessions, they addressed the situation concerning the African Union's partnerships with the European Union, the Arab States, China, India and South Korea, and examined ways to enhance cooperation with these partners, and to benefit from the comparative advantage of each partner in achieving development and prosperity in Africa.
Minister Shoukry delivered a speech at the closing session, in which he indicated that Egypt, as being a founding member of the African Union and the Organization of African Unity, recognizes the important role played by the Member States’ representatives in shaping the African Continent’s policies. He also noted that Egypt is eager to enhance the work methods of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee so as to contribute to building consensus between the Member States to adopt decisions and implement African policies.
Shoukry also affirmed Egypt's support for the current African Union institutional and structural reform efforts aimed at enhancing the governance of the AU Member States, as well as empowering the AU Commission to help the Member States achieve the objectives of the Agenda 2063 for Development. He also outlined the importance of countering any attempts to transgress the African Union rules to limit the role of its Member States in supervising the Commission and monitoring and evaluating its performance.
It is worth noting that Egypt’s hosting of the two retreats takes place in light of its keenness to boost its African relations, as the country recently hosted the Africa 2017 Investment Forum, the African Peer Review Mechanism Regional Committee meetings, and the high-level meeting on peace and security in the Red Sea region. This asserts Egypt's continuing interest in African issues and priorities and its desire to continue contributing to achieving peace, security and development at the Continent’s level.