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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Summit Asks Europe Not to Punish Kenya

The East Africa Community (EAC) has asked the European Union not to punish Kenyan agricultural products exported to Europe. A heads of states summit in Dar es Salaam resolved to petition the EU on behalf of Kenya and agreed to dispatch Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, the new EAC chairman to present Kenya's case. President Museveni, the new chairman of EAC, said his first assignment is to harmonise the organisation's position on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that allows countries in the region to export their agricultural products to Europe without attracting tax. Mr Museveni told the 18th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of States in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Saturday that the EAC was committed to solving the stalemate surrounding the EPAs once and for all.Mr Museveni warned EU against punishing Kenya, which has already signed the agreement. "I want to assure this summit that my first assignment is to lead a delegation to Brussels, Belgium, in my capacity as new chairman to give our stand on the matter as well as ask them not to punish Kenya on the matter as we come up with a lasting solution to the problem," said President Museveni. "We object any move by EU to harm Kenya as far as EU-EAC issues are concerned. What we mean is that Kenya should not be disadvantaged since the country has already signed the agreement," added President Museveni. He said EAC is committed to harmonising the region's stand on the EPAs Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli, who is the outgoing EAC chairman, was present at the meeting. Deputy President William Ruto attended the forum on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Salva Kiir (South Sudan) and Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) were represented in the summit whose theme was "towards sustainable growth and development of the community".Mr Museveni, who took over the leadership of EAC Summit from Mr Magufuli, said EAC integration was about prosperity, security and unity of all citizens in the region. Earlier, during the closed session, Mr Ruto asked EAC governments to urgently address non-tariff barriers that have become stumbling block to cross-border trade in the region.

Source: Allafrica