EU-IGAD POLITICAL DIALOGUE MEETING – The Fourth Ministerial Meeting between the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the European Union (EU) was held in Brussels on 23 March 2010. Formally called „Ministerial Troika“, the meeting, under the Lisbon Treaty, took the name of the Political Dialogue Meeting (PDM).
The EU delegation included Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Development Aid. The IGAD Troika also included the Executive Secretary of IGAD, His Excellency Mahboub M. Maalim, His Excellency Mr. Najeib El Wahab, Ambassador of Sudan to Belgium and His Excellency Mr. James Kembi-Gitura, Ambassador of Kenya to Belgium. The two parties discussed the situation in the Horn of Africa, including Sudan, Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. They also discussed IGAD’s revitalization and reform process and regional integration in the Horn of Africa.
The EU underlined IGAD’s strategic role in regional integration, peace and stability in the Horn. IGAD welcomed EU’s stepped up engagement in the Horn of Africa, as agreed in the Foreign Affairs Council on 8 December 2009.
The EU welcomed renewed efforts by IGAD to enhance the capacity of its Secretariat at the recent IGAD Council on 7-8 December 2009. It pointed out that more could be done in the region to cooperate on common infrastructure regional investments under the Horn of Africa Initiative.
The two parties stressed the significance of the Agreement between the TFG and Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah signed in Addis Ababa on 15 March 2010 and emphasized the need to scale-up support for the initiative and encourage the signatories to ensure speedy and effective implementation. The two sides also encouraged the TFG to continue following a policy of inclusivity with a view to accomodating all those in Somalia who are committed to peace and national reconciliation and ready to work within the framework of the Djibouti accord. The EU welcomed IGAD’s political engagement in Somalia and IGAD expressed its appreciation for EU’s support to the training of the Somali security sector as part of a comprehensive approach that links political, security and development engagement.
On Sudan, both sides stressed the urgency to address the challenges in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). They acknowledged the importance of IGAD´s role in the full implementation of the CPA and the importance of a coherent and coordinated approach of the international community and the regional actors in support of the current process. In this context, the EU welcomed in particular the recent decisions taken by the Heads of State and Government of IGAD to remain actively engaged in line with AU’s overall approach towards the Sudan, both with respect to Darfur and the implementation of the CPA.
Cognizant of the critical developments that are slated to take place in the Horn of Africa in the year 2010 and the first few months of 2011 the EU and IGAD underlined the critical importance of enhancing close consultation and cooperation on matters related to peace and stability in the region.