Brussels, 4 July 2012/ ACP: The Committee of Ambassadors for the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States welcomed the Prime Minister of the Republic of Madagascar H.E Mr Jean Omer Beriziky at the ACP House on Tuesday, while he was in Brussels for talks with the European Union.

A former Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and long-time envoy to Brussels, Prime Minister Beriziky warmly addressed the missions and provided a brief on the country’s progress towards democratic elections and political stability.

“Madagascar’s recent history has been marked by successive political crises, the longest phase of which we are currently experiencing, beginning towards the end of 2008 until now,” he told Ambassadors.

“My visit seeks to revive political dialogue between Madagascar and the European Union, and while the context for consultations is rather difficult, what we have been able to achieve even yesterday has given us hope to make further progress towards a better future, and make it possible for Madagascar to develop, despite the many challenges it has gone through.”

After a coup d’état in 2009, much of the international community – including the European Union – imposed political and economic sanctions on the African island state, where more than half the 20 million population live below the poverty line.

After various mediation efforts, a roadmap was signed in September 2011 by various political factions in agreement to hold elections withina year and while setting up a transitional consensus government to oversee the process towards free, fair and credible elections.

The Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors conveyed the Group’s support for Madagascar in its efforts to overcome its political challenges.

“We assure you of our continuing support and solidarity even as you strive to take your country back into the path of democracy and long-term sustainable growth,” said Ambassador Skerritt-Andrew.

(Pictured:(1) Malagasy Prime Minister writes a special message for ACP, pictured with the Dean of ACP Ambassadors H.E Kodjo Sagbo, Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors H.E Shirley Skerritt-Andrew and Acting Secretary General of ACP Mr Achille Bassilekin III; (2) Prime Minister Beriziky greeting Ambassadors, shaking hands with Ambassador of Benin; (3) Prime Minister Beriziky addressing the Committee of Ambassadors at the ACP House in Brussels)

– ACP Press