African Union Commission Chairperson receives credentials of the Permanent Observer of Ecuador to the AU

By African Union Commission (AUC)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 18, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Jean Ping, received in his office at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on Thursday, 17 November 2011, the credentials of H.E. Mr. José Valencia, as the first Permanent Observer of the Republic of Ecuador to the African Union.

Welcoming the new Permanent Observer, Dr. Ping said: “This is an example of the kind of cooperation we would like to have with each and every South American country.”

He expressed regret at the limited cooperation ties that exist between Africa and most South American countries, especially in the economic domain, despite both regions' common historical experience of European colonialism and sharing the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Chairperson commended Ecuador for opening formal diplomatic ties with the African Union and assured the Ambassador of the availability of the entire Commission and its leadership to assist him in his efforts to help strengthen relations between both continents.

On his part, Ambassador Valencia said he was honoured to serve as Ecuador's first Permanent Observer to the AU and transmitted to the Chairperson the warm greetings of the President of Ecuador, H.E. Mr Rafael Correa, whose commitment to South-South cooperation, especially relations with Africa, is strong, he added.

The Ambassador agreed with the Chairperson that Africa and South American share some common challenges which can best be met collaboratively. For that purpose, Ecuador last year opened embassies in Egypt and South Africa and will soon open two more in Ghana and Kenya, he announced.

The new Permanent Observer further stated that as part of the African Diaspora and with the establishment of formal ties, Ecuador will increasingly be present in the African Union, which he described as: “an organization that very much represents the spirit of Africa.”

The Chairperson, who was accompanied by his Deputy Chief of Staff and Political/Diplomatic Advisor, also exchanged views with the Ecuadorian diplomat, on other issues of common interest.