At least 35 African countries are represented at head of state and government level and others at ministerial level. On the EU side, 22 countries are represented at head of state and government level and others are represented by foreign ministers. There are 58 heads of state and government out of 80 countries represented.
The Gambia is among a handful of countries not attending the summit. The EU office told this newspaper that President Jammeh was indeed invited. Other countries that did not attend either because their leaders were not invited, or they dropped out later, include Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau, Eritrea and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
South African president, Jacob Zuma, pulled out of the summit on Sunday, complaining that the EU was treating African leaders as “subjects” by dictating who should attend the summit.
Reports from Brussels on the eve of the summit indicated that out of 54 African countries, 48 had confirmed participation in the 4th EU-Africa summit running today and tomorrow and 36 were represented at head of state and/or government level. Malawi leader Joyce Banda did not attend the summit as she is believed to be staying home to fight a critical election.
Egypt was invited even though suspended from the AU because of a military coup. Zimbabwe media noted that Morocco, which is not an AU member and which colonised the SADR and has close ties to the EU and US, is attending the meeting. Morocco pulled out of the AU in 1984 because it had accepted the SADR’s membership.
Additional information culled from Reuters]]>