Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye arrived in Belgium’s capital Brussels on Wednesday for the African Union-European Union Summit taking place on Thursday and Friday.
He was accompanied by the First Lady Angelique Ndayibaha, Burundi’s State House confirmed in a tweet.
President Ndayishimiye’s travel comes a week after the European Union lifted sanctions against Gitega imposed since 2016.
The European Union announced on February 8, 2022 the lifting of sanctions against Burundi that were imposed after violent protests against the former president Pierre Nkurunziza led to one thousand people losing their lives.
In a communique, the EU indicated that the move to lift sanctions against Burundi came after a peaceful political process that started with the general elections of May 2020. It added that this opened a new window of hope for the population of Burundi.
Before the sanctions, almost 50 percent of Burundi's annual budget was contributed by donors, mainly the EU.
During a visit to Brussels this week, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan also called on the EU to continue supporting Gitega, saying the EU has a pivotal role to play in the neighbouring country's stability and development.
“A stable Burundi is good for the Great Lakes Region, good for the EU and good for the world,” she said.
The US also earlier announced the lifting of sanctions against Burundi.
In 2020 Burundi witnessed its first democratic transition of power from the late president Pierre Nkurunziza to the incumbent Evariste Ndayishimiye.