"Europe and Africa must not leave the Sahel at the mercy of terrorism, hostage taking, drug trafficking and other forms of cross-frontier terrorism, Senegal's President Macky Sall told MEPs on Wednesday. He also called for efforts to "support the foundations of stability and democracy in Africa" and to stimulate trade and investment. Mr Sall began his speech with a "pious thought" for the victims of the Lampadusa tragedy.
Historical and geographical links between Europe and Africa create a "singular dialectic, in which the need for Europe in Africa calls for and responds to the need for Africa in Europe" said Mr Sall.
The Elysée summit in December and the fourth EU-Africa summit in April 2014 will be an opportunity to "really begin building peace and security, in preventive fashion, to strengthen defence, control and surveillance tools in the Sahal-Saharan area", he added.
"Access to energy, modernising agriculture, developing infrastructure, and education, training and jobs for young people" should be at the heart of renewed Afro-European cooperation, which should focus more closely on "investing in viable projects", he continued.
Mr Sall also stressed the concerns prompted in Africa by the economic partnership agreements which the EU is negotiating with African countries. "It is greatly feared that these agreements could reduce customs receipts and damage our still-nascent industrial fabric", he warned.
To see a recording of the debate and press conference, please click on "Video on Demand" links to the right.
Procedure: Formal sitting