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Dear Editor,

The January  issue of Addis Standard (The AUC – coming of age at 10) repeats false allegations previously published on December 7th , 2011 by the South African newspaper Business Day  alleging that the European  Union Foreign Policy Chief, Catherin Ashton is campaigning in Africa to have Nkosizana Dlamini-Zuma appointed as the next African Union Commissioner.

These allegations are false as the EU reply published by Business Day makes clear, as follows:

Dear Editor,

The EU wishes to correct the allegations contained in the article published in the Business Day on 7 December entitled EU heavyweight backs Dlamini-Zuma for AU post.

These allegations are false.The EU high Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, has not intervened in any form whatsoever in the appointment process for the future AU Commission chairperson. This is, and always has been, a purely internal matter for the member states of the African Union. Neither the High Representative nor any representative of the European Union has expressed any view on any candidates for election.

Roeland van de Geer

EU Ambassador to South Africa

Unfortunately it took several days for Business Day to issue the EU letter of replay, finally publishing it on December 21st, 2011

Your above article further states that “while the EU Headquarters in Brussels was quick in saying they were not aware of the meeting between Ashton and the South Africans, it took almost two weeks for them to issue any official statement to that effect …”

This is also incorrect. In fact the EU Delegation in South Africa contacted Business Day the following day regarding these false allegations.

Unfortunately it took several days for Business Day to issue the EU letter of reply, finally publishing it on December 21st, 2011.

Gary Quince

EU Ambassador to the African Union   

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