It is an honour and a privilege to be among distinguished colleagues, friends and partners for stability, progress and prosperity in this first ever Arab-EU Summit.
I thank the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the warm hospitality afforded to myself and delegation and for hosting this vital historic discussion on the future cooperation between the Arab world and the European Union.
The Arab-EU Summit is timely and solidifies the existing strong relations between our two sides which are built on mutual respect and trust and, has as its foundations, a successful track record of economic and political cooperation. The Arab-EU bond of friendship is historic, but we must now further strengthen this with renewed partnerships for common progress in all areas of mutual benefit.
Investing in our stability is a timely theme for this Summit as the world around us is changing rapidly. Both the Arab world and the EU are facing common challenges in confronting insecurity, economic stagnation in an uncertain global environment, illegal migration and environmental degradation. These issues by their very nature are global and cannot be tackled alone by any country no matter how well-endowed or individually prepared. Therefore, enhancing the Arab-EU partnership is crucial for addressing these stubborn global challenges. Bilaterally and multilaterally, our partnership must be one with common vision, purpose and, based on beneficial outcomes and results for our peoples and the rest of the world.
Trade and economic cooperation are the solid foundations that will enhance Arab-EU partnership. On both sides, governments are working hard to diversify their economies, encourage innovation, build new supply chains, provide an environment for entrepreneurs to flourish and create jobs. In this area, there are many Free Trade agreements, but we need to strengthen our cooperation and that of our business communities to truly benefit from our partnership.
I would like to conclude by reiterating the importance of the Arab-EU Partnership in this age of global interdependence and interconnectivity.
I am confident we can overcome every challenge and capitalise on major opportunities if we work together more closely. Together, with effective partnership, we are stronger, connected, smarter and richer in every way. This is the best investment we can all make in our future stability and common prosperity. Somalia is a proud founding member of the Arab League and a strong partner of the EU and its member states. Despite the challenges of the past, Somalia is now a place of reform and hope.