Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-214-000"

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"Mr President, I welcome the future independence of Southern Sudan and I congratulate the Southern Sudanese people on having achieved it. As our fellow Member, Mr Goerens, who has been so kind as to approach me on this occasion, has just said, one can have the right not to live under Sharia law. It is a right that we must honour. However, I must also point out that there are some populations that are blessed with the opportunity of obtaining the right to such freedom. Nearby, the people of Somaliland do not have that opportunity. I would like us also to revise our policy, which, up until now, has consisted in not recognising the efforts of the people of the Republic of Somaliland, who have built a free and democratic Muslim state in the region, but one which we treat as if it did not exist. Mr President, as regards Southern Sudan, I would also like to say a word on the status of the country. Southern Sudan is still the poorest country in Africa despite the fact that, during the past five years, it has been able to access half of the oil resources of the whole of Sudan. I can see that there has been blatant underdevelopment, which, up until now, has largely been due to the neglect and oversight of Khartoum. However, from now on, I would like the European Union to insist on the need for governance and development, and not to help finance the underdevelopment that is liable to be created in Southern Sudan in the future."@en1

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