MOGADISHU, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) plans to hold a major regional economic conference for eastern African countries to foster peace and promote sustainable development in the region, an EU diplomat said Saturday.
Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz, the EU charge d'affaires to Somalia, said the conference, organized jointly with the World Bank and the Ethiopian government, will be held in July in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
"The focus will be to address regional infrastructure in the energy and transport sectors; trade, including the development of the financing sector, value chains and the regulatory environment; and human capital development through the improvement of education and skills," Ruiz said in Mogadishu during celebrations marking Europe Day.
Ruiz said the planned conference comes amid good progress in relations between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, paving way for even greater cooperation.
The thawing of relations among Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea has seen restoration of diplomatic relations with Ethiopia and Eritrea re-opening embassies in each other's capitals.
Ruiz said the historic agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the tripartite bringing both countries together with Somalia offer unprecedented opportunities and open a pathway to a new era of cooperation.
"Transforming the region will not only require political commitment and leadership, but also sound economic strategies to keep pace with the expectations of the people of the region," he said.