PRESS RELEASE 042
The Spanish Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs Visits Senegal
12/04/2018

 

  • Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (SSFA) Ildefonso Castro visited Senegal on Thursday 12 April to hold bilateral policy consultations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Senegal (MFAS) Sidiki Kaba.
  • The political consultations let issues of common interest to Spain and Senegal be tackled, as well as verifying the excellent status of bilateral relations.

 

Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (SSFA) Ildefonso Castro visited Senegal on Thursday 12 April to hold bilateral political consultations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Senegal (MFAS) Sidiki Kaba.

The secretary of state and the minister signed a memorandum of understanding on the institutionalisation of political and diplomatic consultations between the minister of foreign affairs and cooperation in the Kingdom of Spain and the minister of foreign affairs in Senegal in the Republic of Senegal, with the aim of holding these meetings on an annual basis, in line with the two countries’ level of relations.

During the consultations, they agreed on the excellent state of bilateral relations and tackled different issues of common interest to both Spain and Senegal related to both countries’ internal situations and their bilateral relations (political, economic, cultural, cooperation for development, migratory, consular and legal cooperation matters and issues on security and defence, including maritime security and the situation in the Gulf of Guinea), issues related to the European Union (relations between the European Union and the African Union, negotiations underway on the post-Cotonou framework of European Union relations with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, ACP) and regional and international issues (United Nations—including both countries’ participation on the Human Rights Council—the African Union, ECOWAS and the situation in the Sahel and in neighbouring countries).

Over 63,000 Senegalese are legal residents of Spain, where they are one of the most numerous communities originating from sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to legal residents, between 2006 and 2016 Spain granted Spanish nationality through residence to 8019 citizens of Senegalese origin. Thus, the total number of Senegalese legal residents and Spaniards of Senegalese origin in Spain is over 71,000.

The Senegalese programme for voluntary return to their country of origin has been contributing to the economy and employment in Senegal. Only between January 2017 and February 2018 the aid given by Spain to this business initiative in Senegal has benefited 37 Senegalese businesspeople, entailing total assistance of over 160,000 euros. Moreover, each year Spain transfers some one million euros in Social Security benefits to Senegalese pensioners residing in Senegal.

Senegal is a priority country for Spanish cooperation. Although there are still no final data on official development assistance (ODA) for 2017, net ODA for the 2001-2017 period was 389 million euros, in donations. Since 2014 its actions have been primarily located in Saint-Louis, Matam and Casamance. They are concentrated in two priority sectors: democratic governability and rural development, food and nutritional safety.

In the framework of the ‘EU Emergency Trust Fund’ via the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and its Senegalese institutional counterparts, three programmes are being executed for a total of 27.5 million euros, in the areas of creating rural employment through Naatangue farms (with ANIDA), the response to nutritional crises in Matam and Podor (Yellitaare, with the local cell of Fight Against Malnutrition), and institutional strengthening on migration management with MFAS (led by the DG of Senegalese Abroad).

Spain is Senegal’s top EU client and the fourth EU provider in Senegal. Trade between the countries is growing every year: it was 499 million euros in 2017.

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

 

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