African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed during the inaugural session of the AU summit on Sunday his delight that negotiations held to establish the African free-trade zone were fruitful, calling for "slapping sanctions on those blocking peace in South Sudan.”
He highlighted the importance of combating illegal transformation of capitals outside Africa, calling for activating African economic and financial institutions since this would reinforce monetary and financial sovereignty in the continent. He underlined the importance of reforms or face failure, which would severely affect the AU credibility and its values.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit said the common convergence between the Arab world and the African continent remains a "theater for multiple tensions and instability."
Addressing the Libyan crisis, he added: “We are seeking to bring the transitional phase Libya is undergoing to a conclusion, to unify its various institutions, to build the stable foundations of its state and to complete all the steps and measures that remain."
He also reiterated the Arab League’s commitment to support efforts to address the migrant crisis and the violations migrants are subjected to in Libya. He also indicated his organization's commitment to support the institutions of the Libyan government, its neighbors and the trilateral task force established between the AU, UN and the European Union.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was also present at the African summit.
He said he came last year to Addis Ababa to express respect and gratitude and to seek further opportunities of strategic partnership between the UN and AU.
“Back then, I said that I know that Africa is a continent of hope and survival, and I committed to building a ground for cooperation, not to mention that your vision for the future of Africa inspired me,” he recalled.
Guterres stated that partnership could be further strengthened in a number of key areas including: cooperation in peace and security, inclusive and sustainable development, climate change, and international migration.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the Summit that his country had seen a peaceful transition and that it was looking forward to working with all countries.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame took over chairmanship of the AU for 2018, while it was announced that Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi will chair the union in 2019.