Brussels — European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, met with the Prime Minister of Mali, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga in Brussels on Thursday.
President Tajani stated:
"Mali is a privileged EU partner and Africa is a priority for the European Parliament. We have to deepen our partnership and cooperation with the African continent in a range of areas, such as sustainable development, youth employment, climate change, peace, security, migration human rights. To this end, the European Parliament will organise a high-level conference on Africa on 22 November, one week before the EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan, whose objective will be to increase dialogue and investment between the two continents. The more Africa will be stable, safe and prosperous, the more it will be able to take advantage of its potential.
"Mali faces numerous challenges and we have to work together to overcome them. The main one being security. It is one of the countries that has been most affected by terrorist attacks. The deteriorating security situation worries us and the impact it has on the local population.
"The Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation is the only way to ensure stability in Mali and the Sahel. Its implementation will guarantee basic services to the local population, most of all in areas that are most neglected.
"I salute the determination of Mali and neighbouring countries which are getting involved actively in the fight against terrorism and organised via the G5 Sahel Joint Force. This force is essential and the international community must support it.
"The EU helps Mali through multiple instruments such as the European Fund for Investment, the European Africa Emergency Trust Fund and humanitarian aid. In addition, the European Fund for Sustainable Development has just been formally introduced and will be key in attracting private investment. It is fundamental that Mali reap its benefits in order to develop.
"Growth projections are good, but Mali needs infrastructure, to diversify its economy and to focus on renewable energy. Let's not forget that demographic growth is high in Mali and that this is potential, its youth, must not be lost. It is only by stabilising and securing the country that we will be able to unleash all of its creative and economic potential."
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SOURCE European Parliament/The President