Statement by Amb. Amina C. Mohamed Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of kenya at the 4th africa-arab summit, malabo, equatorial guinea on november 23, 2016
H.E. PRESIDENT TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA
H.E. PRESIDENT IDRISS DEBY ITNO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHAD AND CO-CHAIR OF THE SUMMIT
H.E. PRESIDENT MOHAMED OULD ABDEL AZIZ, PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF MAURITANIA,
H.H. SHEIKH SABAH AL AHMAD AL JABER AL SABAH, THE EMIR OF THE STATE OF KUWAIT,
H.E. DR. NKOSAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA, CHAIRPPERSON POF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION,
H.E. MR. AHMED ABOUL GHEIT, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES
DISTISNGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
I would like to take this opportunity to express my delegation’s deep gratitude for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements put in place by our gracious hosts, the Government and People of Equatorial Guinea. It is my singular honour to convey the warm greetings of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya to his dear brother H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The success of this summit is by and large thanks to the hospitality of our hosts and the facilities that they have put at our disposal.
Africa has adopted a transformative blueprint: Agenda 2063, whose central vision is a united, peaceful and prosperous Africa in which the full potential of the continent and especially its youth is actualized. Africa is happy, willing and open to work with partners in mutually beneficial arrangements to achieve the objectives of Agenda 2063. Allow me to congratulate the President of The Sudan on the award presented to him. The Arab-Africa partnership could be integral to the implementation of Agenda 2063. It is incumbent upon us to determine how best to realize this.
The Africa-Arab partnership is built on a foundation of a shared culture and deep rooted historical ties. Indeed, Many Arab countries are on the African continent and members of our own African Union.
Recent events have painfully showed us that lack of clarity, mutual respect, may threaten and even fatally diminish the vitality, integrity and potential opportunities this partnership holds for us. Our understanding of and support for common causes must flow both ways and be addressed with equal zeal and passion. Nothing should ever be assumed or taken for granted.
In the last five days, significant effort has been exerted to reach agreement on the critical issues that collectively face us. During that period, we have deliberated diverse issues and it is true that in some instances our deliberations have been quite intense and vigorous. In any family, honest discussion is important in devising a meaningful, realistic way forward. Honesty they say is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. The outcome before us is the net return for the efforts and energies that we have honestly expended.
As we come to the end of this 4th Summit, it is important for us all to reflect on the true status of this partnership. We are at a crossroads. We strongly believe that there is an historic opportunity to create an infrastructure, firmly and honestly built on integrity and mutual respect, so that this partnership can stand the test of time and thrive as it must.
As a founding member of the Union, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic has a rightful seat just like any other member of the African Union in all its partnerships. This is in accordance with the decisions of the AU Summit. This principled position is non-negotiable and must be respected by all our partners.
Our proud organisation, the African Union operates on the basis of established rules, regulations and procedures, that clearly define who we are, what we do and how to do it. Interactions amongst ourselves and with others are informed by this understanding.
The past seventy-two hours have clearly shown that the pioneering work at the African Union to develop a common framework to manage the myriad partnerships, we have with many other organisations, is long overdue. That will allow us, Excellencies, to pursue structured, effective and mutually beneficial relationships, under clearly defined parameters. We will draw lessons and the framework will place appropriate emphasis on mutual respect, trust, consultation, cooperation and shared objectives.
It is critical that this exercise be concluded expeditiously and that it informs all our engagements going forward.
Today, in this beautiful city of Malabo, let us heed the old adage – “in walking alone, I can walk faster, but in walking together we can go further”. Let me conclude by agreeing with those who say that the lack of clarity creates frustrations, causes chaos and undermines respect and true friendship.
We value this partnership. It has produced good results and it is worth working hard to continuously perfect and we must make it work for us on the critical challenges that we all face – From terrorism to economic deprivation.
I thank you.