The European Union is committed to supporting Somalia in realizing stability and progress, EU Deputy Ambassador Fulgencio Garrido-Ruiz aka Pencho has said noting Somalia can draw significant lessons from the EU’s progress over the last 60 years.
Speaking during the EU Day celebrations in Mogadishu Wednesday, the EU envoy expressed optimism over Somalia’s recovery and stability adding the Horn of African nation was on its way to ushering a new era.
“Somalia can count on the European Union to be a predictable long term and trusted partner,” Pencho said. “We have stood with Somali friends in the past; we stand with you today and you can count on us tomorrow and much beyond.”
Remarking that the EU set out on an ambitious path towards peace and stability over half a century ago, the EU envoy said the reform process in Somalia is clear testimony the country was on a similar path.
He added the EU chose to stand united to actualize its dream of peace and stability as envisioned by the former French Minister Robert Schuman. The Schuman Declaration as it came to be known was built on the idea of merging economic interests between then rivals France and Germany and would later herald a political and economic union that is the EU today.
“Just as 60 years ago an ambitious and remarkable project was launched in Europe to bring peace, stability and prosperity, we believe that Somalia today is on the way of ushering into a new era,” Pencho added.
The endorsement by International Financial Institutions during the Spring Meeting in Washington last month on Somalia’s reform process towards debt relief exemplified the progress Somalia is making, the EU envoy said. “It is a reform agenda worthwhile supporting and one to look forward to continue with all of you for the next Somali Partnership Forum that will take place in Brussels on the 25 and 26th of June.”
Echoing Pencho’s remarks, EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa Alexander Rondos sounded upbeat about Somalia’s recovery adding just like the EU established its foundations by merging economic interest, Somalia too can borrow leaf from the bloc and work on economic development as a path towards peace and stability.
“The fact that your government a week or two ago your government, if you will received an endorsement from International Financial Institutions for the efforts made so far opened the path towards where economic rather than guns will settle disputes and in politics there are always disputes,” said Rondos.
The EU Delegation which has been operating from Nairobi, for the first time marked the Day in its Mogadishu embassy after relocating this year.