AU DELEGATION HOLDS TALKS WITH QATARI OFFICIALS I DOHA

ADDIS ABABA, Nov 26 (NNN-ENA) — A delegation from the African Union (AU), led by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, has met Qatari officials in Doha to discuss issues of common interest.

The AU delegation, which included former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya, the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel and Head of the AU Mission for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL), exchanged views with Prince Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Saud Al Thani and Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs respectively, on various peace and security issues of common interest.

According to a media statement received from the Addis Ababa-headquartered AU Commission here Wednesday, the talks on Tuesday particularly included the situation in the Darfur region of western Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Mali, as well as the threat posed by the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, against a backdrop of renewed terrorist attacks both in Africa and outside the continent.

The two sides exchanged views on how best to address these challenges, including enhanced support to the AU and its Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution towards the implementation of the African Peace and Security Agenda.

In this respect, it was agreed that steps would be taken to formalize the partnership between the AU and the State of Qatar, notably through the conclusion, as soon as possible, of a Memorandum of Understanding in the area of peace and security.

Chergui seized the opportunity to reiterate the AU’s appreciation of Qatar’s invaluable support to the search for peace in the Darfur region of Sudan, the statement said. These efforts, and those of the AU through its High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), are mutually-supportive and aim at assisting the Sudan overcome the challenges confronting it.

The statement also mentioned the support which includes financial contribution to address the plight of the affected populations and facilitate rehabilitation, early recovery and development.

Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and Ambassador Abdelhamid Bouzaher, Head of the AU Permanent Observer Mission to the League of Arab States, accompanied Chergui during the visit. — NNN-ENA

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