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AU, Cameroon discuss ways to strengthen
future areas of cooperation

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The African Union Commission (AUC), led by Chairperson of Moussa Faki Mahamat, discussed with Cameroonian policymakers and experts on ways of further strengthening mutual cooperation as well as Cameroon’s role in continental issues.

The AUC Chairperson, who recently held a two-day working visit to the West African nation, was accompanied by a delegation including the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Sarah Anyang Agbor, and the Head of the Reform Implementation Unit of the AU, Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, as well as other senior officials of the Commission, the pan African bloc AU revealed on Monday.

Faki, who had a “long and substantive exchange of views” during a one-to-one meeting with Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, also met with Prime Minister Philemon Yang and Minister of External Relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella.

The two parties discussed, among other things, various aspects of the implementation of the African agenda, with particular emphasis given to the continental integration agenda, according to AU.

Faki, who welcomed Cameroon’s recent decision to sign the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), also expressed his hope regarding the prompt ratification of the agreement, it was noted.

“Cameroonian authorities intend to complete the ratification process of the Free Trade Area Agreement by the end of the year,” the AU revealed.

Faki further urged Cameroon to sign the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Establishment and the Right of Residence and to join, as soon as possible, the Single African Air Transport Market, which presently has 26 member parties since it was launched during the January 2018 AU Summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The chairperson further expressed his appreciation to the Cameroonian authorities for their commitment to the AU reform process, as evidenced by among other things, the implementation of the 0.2 percent levy on eligible imports to ensure the financial autonomy of the Union.

According to the AU, the negotiation of a new cooperation agreement among Africa and the European Union (EU), which will replace the Cotonou Partnership Agreement after its expiry in 2020, was also another area of interest among AU and Cameroonian authorities.

Discussions with President Paul Biya and other Cameroonian officials also focused on peace efforts at regional and continental levels, with due emphasis given to the pan African bloc’s goal of “silencing the guns by 2020.”

“Faki welcomed the progress made in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group within the framework of the Multinational Joint Task Force that includes Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad,” the statement read.

President Biya on his part also expressed his government’s efforts to resolve the crisis and reiterated its determination to work towards a speedy return to peace and security, as well as towards the promotion of harmony among all Cameroonians, the statement indicated.

The pan African bloc, AU, also revealed its support to the determination of President Biya and the various initiatives that include the launching of a humanitarian emergency plan to respond to humanitarian needs on the ground.

Faki further reaffirmed AU’s “unwavering commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Cameroon and rejection of the recourse to violence,” it was noted.

He further called for an inclusive dialogue and urged all stakeholders to privilege the new path to facilitate a lasting way out of the crisis based on national leadership and ownership and that strengthens Cameroon’s unity while respecting its diversity, according to the statement.

“The African Union is ready to support any efforts, in accordance with its responsibilities under its relevant instruments,” it added.



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