By Civic Space Africa
Burundi is warming up to renewed diplomatic relations with the European Union after a period of hostility.
During a meeting in early February with the EU delegation led by Ambassador Claude Bochu, Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Ambassador Albert Nshingiro said Burundi was ready to engage in dialogue with bilateral and multilateral partners.
He said Burundi was keen to clarify any outstanding issues and misunderstandings of the past to face the future with confidence as had been indicated by the president during the exchange of greetings with the ambassadors accredited to Bujumbura.
The minister said Burundi was ready to move forward and not “constantly look back or to gravitate around a single point.”
In his speech, Ambassador Claude BOCHU, representative of the delegation of the European Union regretted that Burundi had not respected human rights since 2015, which prompted the EU to impose sanctions on the country. He however indicated that the EU was ready to collaborate with Burundi if human rights were respected.
Burundian interviewed welcomed the efforts to resume ties with the EU and other counties saying the country could not attain the required progress without maintaining close relations with developed countries.
They said the freezing of diplomatic relations with the EU and other countries had led to unemployment as a number of international organizations had closed their doors. This situation had also led to lack of adequate foreign currency reserves.