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EU, IGAD FMs discuss regional stability and illegal migration

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IGAD foreign mnisters meet EU foreign policy chief in Brussels on 29 September 2017 (ST Photo)
September 29, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - European Union foreign policy chief and IGAD foreign ministers Friday discussed the lingering conflicts and illegal migration from the eastern African region and ways to support development.

The EU-IGAD meeting held in Brussels involved the EU High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and Foreign Ministers from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

It is the second meeting of its kind as the two parties had already met in n March 2017 in the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

The meeting "focused on the multiple challenges affecting the security, stability and prosperity of the Horn of Africa ranging from protracted conflicts and transnational crime to irregular migration and poor economic development," reads a statement released from Brussels after the meeting.

The Sudanese foreign ministry underscored that the meeting discussed particularly "the crisis in South Sudan, the problem of Somali refugees in Kenya, the issue of irregular immigration, human trafficking, development projects and cooperation between the EU and IGAD".

The EU in its statement said it was agreed to accelerate support to Somalia to create a conducive environment for the return of refugees and to integrate those who cannot go back for the time being in the host countries.

The ministers agreed to hold annual meetings and to set-up an appropriate Steering Group at the senior official level to develop a political framework for joint action and report back at the next ministerial meeting.

The Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Gandour met with the chief of EU foreign police Federica Mogherini to discuss bilateral relations and a range of regional issues of common concern.

Gandour also discussed the situation in South Sudan with the EU Special Representative Alexander Rondos.

(ST)

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