High-level talks aimed at securing a future fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and Somalia took place in Brussels on the 2nd and 3rd of April, brokered by Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson. Struan arranged for the President of Somalia, His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, together with a team of Somali government ministers, to meet with Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki.
Speaking after the meetings, Struan Stevenson said:
“Somalia has suffered from decades of civil war, terrorism and piracy. As a result, their 2,000 mile coastline is teeming with fish that have been virtually unexploited now for over 20 years. President Mohamoud is a very impressive and forward-looking leader who has restored stability to Somalia and is keen to harvest the rich resources of the sea to feed his people and attract foreign investment.
“However the country has virtually no infrastructure. Years of war have destroyed their ports, harbours, roads and processing plants. All of this needs to be rebuilt and our high-level talks involving the President himself and his ministers of fisheries, planning and finance, were aimed at securing international aid to help reconstruct the country, with the long-term objective of setting up a fisheries partnership agreement with the EU.”