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Leaders of some 70 nations from Africa, EU hold summit to improve political and economic ties

  • Belgium EU UN-1.jpg

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the media at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)The Associated Press

  • Belgium EU UN-2.jpg

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, right, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon address the media after a meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)The Associated Press

Leaders of some 70 nations in Africa and Europe are seeking to improve political and economic cooperation between the two continents at a two-day summit.

The meeting in Brussels beginning Wednesday will also center on development aid, climate change and migration.

The European Union says leaders attending will include: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; French President Francois Hollande; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta.

Notable absentees are Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who reportedly skipped the summit because the EU refused to grant his wife a visa, and South African President Jacob Zuma, who accused Brussels of cherry-picking which African leaders would attend.

The 28 EU nations granted Africa 141 billion euros in assistance from 2007 to 2013.