Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Arab Republic of Egypt explore possibilities for greater cooperation in peace and security

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The ECOWAS Commission and the Arab Republic of Egypt are exploring the possibility for greater cooperation in peace and security, towards making West Africa a safer and more stable region on the continent.

This came to the fore when the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS H.E. Mohamed Fouad paid a courtesy call on the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa on the 16th May 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Commissioner Musa stated that the operationalization of the ECOWAS counter terrorism Force is one such area where cooperation is needed. He hinted that plans are afoot to convene a special summit on the future of regional integration, even as the regional organisation is working very hard to ensure that the heightened geo-political interests in the region do not lead to proxy wars.

Stating that ECOWAS has a lot to learn from Egypt on regional peace consolidation, the Commissioner disclosed that ECOWAS was opposed to the idea of withdrawal of Member States from the Community because such actions were against the principle of integration and pan Africanism.

Particularly, the Commissioner noted that the ECOWAS Commission was looking forward to seeing how Egypt can “support the impact of the dynamics of the current happenings in Libya in such a way as can guarantee the safety of the Sahel, having now been established that the Sahel is defining our peace and security environment today”  

Responding, Ambassador Fouad acknowledged ECOWAS as the most successful regional economic community on the continent and noted that even though Egypt is not in West Africa, it is mindful of the proximity of the border areas of the region and the Maghreb.

Egypt, he stressed is very much disposed to having a holistic approach to tackling issues of terrorism, cross border crimes, insecurity and insurgencies.

He said Egypt’s cooperation with ECOWAS stems from mutual understanding and shared needs for capacity building and information exchange while both sides expressed optimism that the experiences of Egypt would be very valuable to the regional peacekeeping, mediation and integration efforts of ECOWAS.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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