The Government of Spain through its Foreign Ministry has vowed its commitment to working with Africa in ensuring peace and security for both Spanish and African nationals on the continent.
A dispatch from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo to the African Union in commemoration of Africa Day on May 25 underscores Spain’s diplomatic history with Africa and expresses interest in collaborating with the continent in building mutual policies that will smoothen trade and social interactions.
The dispatch indicates, “Spain actively supports the cause of peace and security on the continent. We are the country that has contributed the highest number of troops to the EU Commission in Mali. We are also present in Niger, Somalia and the Central African Republic, and we are combating piracy by means of Operation Atalanta.”
According to the Spanish Foreign Minister in the dispatch, he said his country is active in conflict prevention, noting that together with Morocco they recently launched a mediation initiation for the Mediterranean where countries there are engulfed by conflict.
Currently Egypt and Libya are in serious crises with religious instability threatening the lives of many people in Egypt while transition from Muhammar Ghadefi’s leadership in Libya has still not brought peace into that country.
Acknowledging Spain’s concern of accompanying the processes of democratic governance, Minister Garcia-Margallo recalled that in 2012 his country initiated the Masar program in North Africa and promised that they will soon launch what he refers to as APIA program to promote inclusive policies in sub-Sahara Africa.
“We have instruments of public diplomacy, such as Casa Africa, Casa Arabe and Casa Mediterraneano, to deepen mutual understanding. Our ties and commitment to the continent will be strengthened as the society of our country comes to have a greater knowledge and understanding of Africa,” the Foreign Minister said.
In the European Union, the Minister said “Spain has promoted numerous initiatives, such as the strategy for the Sahel and the strategy for the Gulf of Guinea. In 2007-2013, we contributed 7.85% of the funds for the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and we shall provide 8% for the 11th Fund (2014-2018), and we are also actively involved in the negotiation process to sign trade partnership agreements.
Spain is one European country that Africans have over the time migrated to seek greener pasture due to what they claim as “Economic hardship” on the continent.
Many had crossed the Mediterranean to Spain and other European countries while a lot of them had drowned in the sea.
With respect to constant migration of Africans, Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo said, “We have promoted policies on migration issues, such as the EU Global Approach to Migration, and we are involved in all the processes aimed at controlling migratory flows such as the Rabat Process, Mobility Partnerships and the Africa-EU Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment.”
In closing, the Spanish Foreign Minister acknowledged Spain’s role in Africa and expressed wish that they will go further, promising to be excellent ambassadors of Africa if in the period of 2015-2016 Spain can occupy a seat on the UN Security Council.