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The European Union becomes 12th Dialogue Partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
Secretary General of IORA Dr Salman Farisi and Ambassador of the EU Oska Benedikt

30 January 2024

During a ceremony held at Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Secretariat in Ebene, Mauritius on 30 January 2024, the Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Oskar Benedikt, presented the Letter of Acceptance (LoA), signed by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice President of the Commission, Mr Josep Borrell, to the Secretary-General of IORA, Dr. Salman Al Farisi to officially start EU’s engagement with IORA as an IORA Dialogue Partner.

Dialogue Partners sign the LoA to convey their consent to conform to the Regulations of the IORA Charter on the status of Dialogue Partnership’ to begin their engagement with IORA.

The 23rd IORA Council of Ministers’ (COM) Meeting held on 12 October 2023 in Colombo, Sri Lanka conferred the status of IORA’s Dialogue Partner to the European Union which has been admitted as the 12th Dialogue Partner in IORA.

“IORA recognizes the critical importance of organizations such as the European Union in building bridges of cooperation between Member States towards common objectives. I strongly believe that the growing IORA-EU cooperation will be beneficial for the prosperity and stability in the Indian Ocean and beyond”, the Secretary-General of IORA asserts.

The IORA Secretary-General underscored that with the diverse resources and talents embodied in the two regions, IORA and EU can work together to develop cooperation in response to challenges facing the Indian Ocean and the world at large.

“I am honoured to submit to H.E. Ambassador Salman Al Farisi, Secretary General of the IORA, the Letter of Acceptance to start EU’s engagement as a Dialogue Partner, as granted by the IORA’s Council of Ministers on 12 October 2023, in accordance with the provisions of the IORA’s Charter. IORA is the only body that covers the entire Indian Ocean region. Becoming a Dialogue Partner to IORA is of key political importance at a time when the EU is taking on a key role in the region, fully in line with its Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.”, stated Ambassador Benedikt.

Ambassador Benedikt furthermore highlighted that the EU is fully committed to their role as a reliable partner for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. The EU concurs with the priorities of the IORA, particularly in the areas of maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, sustainable fisheries, disaster risk reduction, the blue economy, and women’s economic empowerment, as these are also key sectors for the EU.

By becoming the IORA Dialogue Partner, the EU has formalized its relations with the Association - including through attending high-level plenary session meetings of the Council of (Foreign) Ministers (COM), the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) and IORA Functional Bodies at the appropriate level.

About Indian Ocean Rim Association:
Established on 7th March 1997, IORA is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 12 Dialogue Partners.

About European Union:
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 European countries. It is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. It acts globally to promote sustainable development of societies, environment, and economies, so that everyone can benefit.


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