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

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.