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AU summit opens in Ethiopian capital
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The 10th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government kicked off Thursday in Addis Ababa, seat of the pan-African body.

More than 40 heads of state and government from AU members attended the summit, held under the theme "Industrial Development of Africa" and due to conclude Saturday.

Highlights of the summit are expected to include the election of AU Commission chairperson and other members, discussion of peace and security on the continent and in the Middle East, industrial development of Africa, and also the African Union Government.

Other topics to be discussed during the summit will include: the adoption of the 2008 AU Budget; consideration of the Reports of the Executive Council on the Audit of the Union and the Report of the Ministerial Committee on the Union Government; the Report on the activities of the Peace and Security Council and the State of Peace and Security in Africa as well as the AIDS Watch Africa Report.

In preparation for the summit, the 12th Session of the Executive Council of the AU attended by ministers was held from Sunday till early Thursday in Addis Ababa.

During the executive council meetings, African unity, the Economic Partnership Agreements negotiation with the European Union, and the New Partnership for African Development have been duly discussed and debated.

Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding between the AU and the group of Regional Economic Communities was signed in cooperation in economic and peace and security fields.

Ten countries from five African regions have also been elected as members of the AU Peace and Security Council during the session. They are Burundi and Chad from Central Africa, Rwanda and Uganda from Eastern Africa, Tunisia from Northern Africa, Swaziland and Zambia from Southern Africa, and Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali from Western Africa.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)

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