President Yoweri Museveni received and held a meeting with the European Union delegation in Uganda led by the European Union Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Attilio Pacifici, the envoys included the heads of missions of Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Iceland, Netherland, Poland, Austria and Sweden.
The meeting was held as part of the biannual Article 8 Political Dialogue with the European Union in accordance with Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
While delivering his speech, President Museveni thanked the European Union countries for emphasizing trade other than aid when dealing with Uganda that has seen Uganda’s earnings from trade with European Union triple the European Union Aid to Uganda in the past few years.
He further described the trade between European Union and Uganda and the African continent as a whole as complementary as the two mutually benefit from such trade adding that European Union envoys should attract more European companies to invest in Uganda and take advantage of the ready market in Uganda and Africa as well as the open tax-free and quarter free market of the USA and Europe that was also negotiated.
On the status of refugees hosted by Uganda, President Museveni told the European Union envoys that the Uganda government policy was to welcome and host people who are running away from trouble but noted that the country faces challenges of resources especially for food, shelter, education, and health and asked the envoys and their governments to support Uganda as she continues hosting and receiving envoys.
On reports by the E.U ambassadors that Uganda was to legislate against sexual minorities as a way persecuting them, the President said that the government has no policy that aims at persecuting LGBQTI people but neither does it not promote it because it is seen as a deviation from culture.
“The different groups promoting homosexuality are the ones creating undue conflict between themselves and society through unnecessary provocation. In Africa, even heterosexual is confidential although it is normal. It is not good to impose on others your way of life and those groups need to understand that” he said.
On the political situation of Uganda ahead of 2021 elections, the President told the EU envoys that the government is committed to ensuring free and fair elections, adding that, relevant government organs are handling the necessary reforms. He, however, said that there had been some form of provocation by some political actors that have failed to respect the laws governing public assemblies.
The European Union Ambassadors commended President Museveni for his great leadership that he has offered Uganda that has seen the country remain peaceful and achieve remarkable economic growth and emphasized that the 2021 elections should be free and fair.