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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 14:42 GMT
Press cool on EU-Africa progress
African Union Commission's chairman Alpha Oumar Konare
EU and Africa have agreed to forge a partnership of equals
The world's media see Europe and Africa aiming to "turn a new page" in their relations - but with limited success.

Papers set the summit in the context of "neo-colonial" concerns and rivalry between Europe and the world's other big powers, notably China.

While some say there is a new air of equality between North and South, others say this is illusory, because of the EU's massive comparative wealth, and others suggest there is little substance beneath the grand words.

RWANDA'S NEW TIMES

One most positive element that has come from the meeting is the frank, open way issues are being discussed. No domineering, upper-lip aloofness from the former colonial masters and no encumbered exchanges from the former colonies, in what has been dubbed "a summit of equals".

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO'S LE POTENTIEL

Already with regard to the Gordon Brown-Robert Mugabe standoff, many European countries made the right choice. This is a positive attitude. For their part, the Africans showed proof of solidarity and resisted the temptation to try to outshine one another...

Of course the question was one of how to turn a new page while paternalistic and "neo-colonial" attitudes still abound under the cover of human rights concerns. Is Mugabe a dictator? That is quite possible. But is he any more of a dictator than some of the other heads of state who travelled to Lisbon?

KENYA'S STANDARD

The EU-Africa summit should in the least re-focus global attention on the Sudan, particularly its failure to roll back the restrictions that have served as a bulwark on the road to peace.

BURKINA FASO'S L'OBSERVATEUR PAALGA

The Europeans are facing the facts: other powers are quietly setting up shop in Africa and treading on their economic patch, in particular the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, and especially the latter, which has made a firm foothold in the continent.

PORTUGAL'S DIARIO DE NOTICIAS

Never had so many African leaders gathered in a European capital. And it is significant that they did so in Lisbon. If anything begins to change in Zimbabwe, even if just one millimetre, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates will be vindicated his victory over Gordon Brown.

PORTUGAL'S DIARIO DE NOTICIAS

No other institution like the EU has until today taken advantage of a summit of such dimension to strengthen solidarity between trade unions, local government, youth organisations, NGOs and business associations... Words about poor governance being at the root of poverty and underdevelopment were echoing in the voices of the African leaders when they stood up in Lisbon - including the AU leader himself.

SPAIN'S EL PAIS

The Europe-Africa summit ended with grand words and little substance. Relations between Europe and Africa are as troubled as can be expected from a turbulent past and a present dominated by their extreme economic inequality, by immigration that is out of control and by the proliferation of intractable armed conflicts and formidable humanitarian crises. Imposing order on that political and social tangle and at the same time moving away from the spectre of colonialism demands much more than rhetorical do-good declarations and will inevitably take many years.

ZHANG HAIBING IN CHINA'S XINMIN EVENING NEWS

European countries still cannot shake off the practice of behaving like masters. The development aid provided to Africa by both the EU and its member states almost always has certain political conditions attached... but its effects are not evident. The current issue of the utmost urgency is providing tangible assistance to help African countries out of poverty and hunger. Only in this way will African countries have the ability and energy to face and solve other problems.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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Compiled by BBC Monitoring

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Q&A: Mugabe's Zimbabwe
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