Summary: 4 April 2011, Brussels - Statement by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, following his meeting with Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
I welcome the visit of Mr Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Brussels. The EU and the African Union are strong partners on a number of regional and global issues.
Our discussions tonight focused on Libya and Côte d'Ivoire.
I explained to Chairperson Ping the discussions and the conclusions adopted by the European Council on Libya in particular that Khadafi must relinquish power immediately.
I also put particular emphasis on the EU's determination and ongoing efforts to implement UNSC Resolution 1973. I have stressed the EU call for an orderly and Libyan-led transition to democracy trough a broad-based dialogue, and our readiness to work with our international partners, including the African Union. I listened with interest to Chairperson Ping's illustration of the content of the African Union roadmap and the contacts he had in this regard. We agreed that the EU and the AU should remain in close contact.
In addition to Libya, the situation in Côte d'Ivoire remains a grave concern to the European Union. I was horrified to learn about reports of severe human rights violations. The European Council already in last December condemned the violence and stood behind the democratically elected President, Mr Alassane Ouattara. Subsequently, the EU imposed an asset freeze and visa ban to those who are obstructing the process of peace and national reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire, jeopardizing the electoral outcome and financing the illegal Gbagbo regime.
I welcome ongoing efforts of the UN mission in Côte d'Ivoire to protect the civilian population in line with the mandate given by UN Security Council. Mr Gbagbo must leave for peace to prevail. I expressed support for efforts aiming at his stepping down immediately.
EU source: Council