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Malagasy president seeks to strengthen bilateral relations with France

France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) welcomes Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina (R) upon his arrival at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, on August 29, 2022.   -  
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Economic cooperation

The Malagasy president Andry Rajoelina on Monday made a diplomatic visit to France in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties.

He was met by his counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee.

This visit intends to strengthen economic cooperation between Madagascar and France, with other issues like food security, ecology and energy transition being on the table for discussion.

The empowerment of Malagasy citizens living in the south of the country, which is plagued by famine, was also on the agenda.

The issue of the scattered Islands, whose return to Madagascar has been repeatedly demanded, was not mentioned.

However, the two presidents did not address the issue of the two Frenchmen who were found guilty of trying to assassinate the President of Madagascar.

The two men were sentenced to 10 and 20 years of hard labor. Their request to have these sentences overturned was rejected by the Malagasy Court of appeal.

Paul Rafanoharana, a Franco-Malagasy former advisor to the head of state, and Philippe François, an ex-colonel in the French army, were arrested in July 2021.

Philippe François' support committee called on the French government in a statement to protect Philippe François by requesting his return to France.

Twenty people in total have been implicated in this case