Senegal’s new president, who took office on April 2, has announced plans to renegotiate fishing agreements signed with the bloc in 2014 © X/PR_Diomaye

Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Faye has called for a reassessment of the West African country’s relationship with the European Union (EU), saying that the current form of cooperation is complicated.

Faye made the statement at a joint press conference with European Council President Charles Michel in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, on Monday night.

He proposed a “renovated partnership” that is “capable of supporting the innovative dynamic” in Senegal-EU relations.

Faye was sworn in as president on April 2 after winning 54.28% of the vote in the African nation’s elections last month. His victory over 18 other candidates, including the former government party’s candidate, came just days after he was released from jail along with a close associate, Ousmane Sonko, the barred opposition leader he replaced in the election.

During his inauguration, he promised radical economic reforms, sovereignty over Senegal’s key industries, and the promotion of peace in Africa. He has since announced plans to renegotiate a decade-old fishing agreement with the EU as part of efforts to restore marine resources and limit industrial fishing vessels in order to improve the country’s food security.

On Monday, the Senegalese leader said his government would pursue an internal development strategy focused on agriculture, livestock, and fishing. It also intends to improve the country’s infrastructure, including railways, electrical grids, telecommunications networks, and roads.

Feeding Africa: Sanctions make it worse, imports don’t help, what’s the solution? Feeding Africa: Sanctions make it worse, imports don’t help, what’s the solution?

“European investors whose companies have recognized skills in these different sectors are welcome,” he added.

In response, Michel, the first EU leader to visit Faye since he took office earlier this month, said the bloc and Senegal “should not dread” discussing difficult issues if it meant “bringing about improvements for both sides.”

He said the EU “supports more justice and inclusion” and only has an “objective” interest in the former French colony. (RT)