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Senegal: Diomaye Faye wants to build “a renovated partnership” with the European Union

Arriving in Senegal on Monday, the President of the European Council notes that the European Union (EU) is ready to engage on new bases of cooperation with the new leaders.

The new Senegalese president received the President of the European Council in audience on Monday evening. Bassirou Diomaye Faye spoke for many minutes at the Palace of the Republic with Charles Michel, who began his West African tour in Dakar. Facing the press, Macky Sall’s successor explained to his host the new dynamic, centered on sovereignty and win-win partnership, that he wants to imprint on Senegalese-European relations.

“It is true that cooperation (with the EU) is dense and multifaceted. But together, we want to build a partnership rethought, renovated and fertilized by a shared vision of a fairer international order reflecting the realities of today’s world”, indicated the 44-year-old Senegalese leader while he does not lack send his “thanks for the constant support of the European Union (EU)” to his country in several areas of cooperation such as water, energy, agriculture, health, transport, digital technology, youth and employment.

Elected on March 24 in the first round of the presidential election with 54.28% of the votes, President Faye carries a governance project, the “program for a sovereign, just and prosperous Senegal in a progressing Africa”, on which the Senegalese have a lot of hope. The “priorities” of the new Senegalese power now revolve “around an endogenous economic model of industrialization”, with the primary sector as a launching pad, and the “strengthening of economic infrastructures” such as railways, electrification, telecommunications and road networks.

To properly carry out these missions, Bassirou Diomaye Faye informed the European leader that he intended to use his forces to gradually fight against the budget deficit. The implementation of this government “priority” will involve improving the quality of public spending, more effective taxation for better mobilization of domestic resources, a tax payment mechanism where wealth is created and a fight against illicit financial flows,” he explained before noting that “European investors whose companies have proven skills in various sectors are welcome” in Senegal.

Towards a renegotiation of fishing agreements?

For his part, the President of the European Council welcomed the “good, extremely fruitful exchange” with Diomaye Faye, showing that Senegal and the EU have “a common ambition to work for a quality bilateral partnership based on two key principles : respect and trust.

Magnifying “the robustness of Senegal’s democratic institutions” which allowed a third change in power in 24 years, the former Belgian Prime Minister stressed to his host that “additional work” had to be done to support the productive economy, infrastructure, professional and technical training.

While the fishing agreements concluded with the EU and other partners by the former Senegalese leaders still arouse the anger of several local fishermen, the President of the European Council says he is ready to address the subject without taboo at a time when the new authorities Senegalese companies promise to renegotiate several public contracts.

“In the sector of fishing and fisheries resources for example, (we are ready to) look at what the facts are, see how we can, if necessary, make improvements on both sides,” said Charles Michel, stressing that the EU’s responsibility is to be a “loyal, predictable partner for Senegal, without any hidden agenda”.

After Senegal, the President of the European Council will travel to Ivory Coast on Wednesday where he will spend 48 hours before ending his West African tour in Benin for a day.

This article is originally published on fr.apanews.net

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