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Addis Ababa, 27 August 2017: on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa FakiMahamat, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on 28 August 2017, received Taro Kono, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was an opportunity for the two personalities to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest for Japan and the AU.

The two sides discussed and exchanged views on the following areas that the AU is engaged in and towards which continued Japanese support could be mobilized, particularly preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, especially in South Sudan and Mali/Sahel, as well as combatting terrorism and international organized crime in Africa. They also stressed the need to further enhance AU-Japan cooperation with a view to jointly mobilizing support for quick impact projects, especially in favour of women and youth, in in countries emerging from conflict in the continent. In this context, the Commissioner provided an overview on AU efforts in mediation, enhancement of the AU Peace Fund, maritime safety and security, including free movement at sea, as well as in health and preventing epidemics. He urged Japan to consider providing support towards education of the youth as part of the efforts to combat terrorism and radicalization, capacity building of African police through the bias of AFRIPOL and cross-border cooperation.

Emphasizing the need for more visibility and added-value of Japanese support to the African people on the ground, the Commissioner urged Japan to consider channeling some of its support through the AU,and together address the disastrous effects of the climate change on Africa.

On his part, Minister Kono reiterated Japan’s political commitment to continue to work with the AU in addressing conflicts and capacity building for African institutions within the context of enhancing State building, especially in post-conflict areas. The Minister also highlighted the progress made in implementation of the TICAD process, including the review done at the TICAD VI Ministerial Meeting held in Maputo, Mozambique, on 24 – 25 August 2017. The Minister further conveyed the invitation of his Government to the Chairperson of the AU Commission to visit Japan in the course of 2017.  He also announced that Japan will be opening its mission to the AU in January 2018 to further enhance this bilateral cooperation. Commissioner Chergui expressed gratitude to Minister Kono for his timely visit and highlighted the importance of strengthening this partnership on the basis of mutual respect and win-win approach.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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