Status on the Attendance of the European Union - Africa Summit 2007 by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
FOR ORAL REPLY
QUESTION NO: 238
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 26 OF 14 AUGUST 2007
MR AJ LEON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
(1) Whether, with reference to the forthcoming European Union - Africa Summit at the end of 2007 in Lisbon and certain media reports (details furnished), she has made any attempts to reconcile the views of the African Union and European Union leaders regarding the attendance of the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at the summit; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?;
(2) whether South Africa will boycott the summit if the Zimbabwean President is not invited to attend; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1812E
(1) The DA Spokesperson for International Affairs, Honourable Leon, should avoid asking questions based on selective reading of some media reports. He should verify the facts. I am not aware of any need to reconcile the views of the African Union and the European Union leaders regarding participation in the Africa Europe Summit.
There is a strong commitment from both the African and the European countries to make the 2 nd Africa-Europe Summit, to be held in December 2007 in Lisbon, an unequivocal success in terms of partnership and collaboration between the two regions. An important outcome of the Summit will be the adoption of the Joint Africa-European Union Strategy, which will set out the vision for African-European relations in the decades ahead. The key elements of the joint strategy are peace and security; good governance and human rights; trade and integration; and key development issues [environment, climate change, development co-operation, human and social development, migration, agriculture and food security and infrastructure]. The Summit will take place under the auspices of the African Union and European Union, who will also be responsible for ensuring the full participation of all member states of both of these organisations. It should be noted that the Executive Council of African Union, during the recent Summit held in Accra, adopted a decision on the Africa-European dialogue, in which it stated its appreciation that all African countries and the African Union organs would be invited without conditions, to participate in the Summit. To this end, the Executive Council urged all African countries and the African Union organs to fully participate in the Summit. The SADC position is consistent with the African Union position on the proposed Summit.
(2) The question of a boycott is hypothetical and irrelevant. I have indicated that the 2 nd Africa-Europe Summit is very important to Africa and Europe. It will be an opportunity to deal with the fundamental challenges we face. This, interalia, includes migration, sustainable development, the MDGs, conflict resolution and post conflict reconstruction and climate change. Africa will make every effort to ensure that the Summit takes place. We believe that our European partners are driven by the same strategic objectives . Honourable Leon should not have sleepless nights pontificating about boycotts, he should rather contribute to ensuring that the Summit does take place and is successful.