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Musings From Abroad

African, world leaders congratulate France President Emmanuel Macron on his re-election



African and several leaders around the world have been sending congratulatory messages to France President Emmanuel Macron, after his re-election victory where he defeated his of opponent and far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, in runoff elections Sunday.

The African leaders including Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, Senegal’s Macky Sall, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba, were the early birds to congratulate Macron on the election win.

While Sall who is the current African Union (AU) Chairman, on behalf of the Union, sent his best wishes to Macron’s on the win which made him the first French President to win a re-election since 2002.

On his part, Ethiopia’s Ahmed said he looked forward to working with Mr Macron to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Kagame hailed Macron’s leadership that “seeks to unite and not divide.”

Ondimba whose country is a former French colony, hailed Macron’s “brilliant re-election,” saying the two two countries “more than a shared past, as our two countries have a future to build,” he said in online comments.

Some world leaders were also not left out of the accolades on Macron’s victory with the likes of US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, embattled Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and a host of others congratulating Macron.

Here are some of their reactions:

Joe Biden: “France is our oldest ally and a key partner in addressing global challenges. I look forward to our continued close cooperation including on supporting Ukraine, defending democracy, and countering climate change.”

Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “French voters have sent a strong vote of confidence in Europe today. I am happy that we will continue our good cooperation.”

Boris Johnson: “I congratulate France President Emmanuel Macron on his victory. France is one of our closest and most important allies,” Johnson wrote in a tweet, adding that he looked forward “to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world”.

Volodymyr Zelensky: “I wish him further success for the sake of the (French) people. I appreciate his support and I am convinced that we are moving together towards new common victories,” he wrote on Twitter in both Ukrainian and French.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Macron’s victory was a “great expression of liberal democracy in action in uncertain times”.

“We wish you and France every success, in particular your leadership in Europe and as an important partner to Australia in the Indo-Pacific,” he tweeted.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “I am looking forward to continuing our work together on the issues that matter most to people in Canada and France, from defending democracy, to fighting climate change, to creating good jobs and economic growth for the middle class”.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his “friend” on being re-elected.

“I look forward to continue working together to deepen the India-France Strategic Partnership,” Modi wrote.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi described Macron’s victory as “great news for all of Europe”.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez: “The citizens have chosen a France committed to a free, strong and fair EU. Democracy wins. Europe wins. Congratulations Emmanuel Macron.”

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said French voters had made a “strong choice”, opting for “certainty and Enlightenment values”.

Ireland Prime Minister Micheal Martin hailed Macron’s “principled and dynamic leadership” as “important not only for France, but for Europe”.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson also sent her “warmest congratulations”, adding,”Let’s continue our close cooperation – bilaterally and for a competitive, green and resilient European Union,” she tweeted.

Musings From Abroad

US appoints Tom Perriello new special envoy to Sudan



In an attempt to exert direct influence over Sudan’s peace process, the United States has appointed congressman and former diplomat, Tom Perriello, as special envoy.

According to a dispatch, Mr. Perriello would assist in coordinating US diplomacy and efforts with allies throughout Africa and the Middle East to put a stop to the conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and atrocities.

Perriello will “advance our efforts to end the hostilities, secure unhindered humanitarian access, and support the Sudanese people as they seek to fulfil their aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice,” according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

He will also work to “empower Sudan’s civilian leaders and push US engagement with partners in Africa, the Middle East, and the international community to forge a united approach to stop this senseless conflict, prevent further atrocities, and promote accountability for crimes already committed.”

Washington stated that it is urgent to stop “an already dire humanitarian situation from turning into catastrophic famine” in the statement.

Prior to the assignment, US former President Barack Obama had designated Perriello as a special envoy in the African Great Lakes region in 2015. From 2009 to 2011, he was a member of the US House of Representatives as well.

In addition, Mr. Perriello has participated in numerous diplomatic missions and supported international efforts for justice in Kosovo, Darfur, and Afghanistan. Following his departure from Congress, Mr. Perriello assumed the position of CEO at the nonprofit American Progressive Action Fund. In addition, he advised the Fund on policy matters pertaining to women’s problems, immigration, voting, and guns.

His nomination as the United States’ special envoy to Sudan follows months of demands from US senators for the appointment of a senior specialist to help save Sudan from devolving further into one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes in history.

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Musings From Abroad

EU team begins 4-day working visit to Nigeria



The inaugural four-day working tour to Nigeria by members of the Council of Europe’s Africa Working Party (COAFR) has begun in Abuja.

Scheduled to take place between February 26 and 29, 2024, the visit represents a turning point in EU-Nigeria ties as COAFR leaders interact with different stakeholders throughout the nation.

Representatives from all 27 EU member states make up COAFR, which is entrusted with directing EU foreign policy towards sub-Saharan Africa, the African Union, and other regional institutions.

According to a statement released on Sunday by the European Union in Nigeria, the party works with the Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council under the direction of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union. It is chaired by a permanent member of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the National Security Advisor, and the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning are just a few of the important federal government ministries and agencies that COAFR delegates will be meeting with in Abuja. The statement went on to say that interactive meetings with the ECOWAS Commission will shed light on integration procedures and regional trends.

COAFR intends to meet with officials of the European Business Chamber (EuroCham) Nigeria, Consuls General of EU Member States, and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos.

In order to strengthen talks on strengthening the EU-Nigeria collaboration, the group will also visit EU-funded initiatives with an emphasis on digital innovation, key infrastructure, connectivity, and migration.

The statement notes that this is the group’s first-ever working trip to Nigeria and that officials from EU institutions will be joining them in addition to representatives of 17 EU Member States.

Recent high-profile visits by top EU officials to Nigeria demonstrate the EU’s increased engagement with the country and emphasise how crucial the EU-Nigeria collaboration is. The statement brought to mind that a team from the EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue Meeting in Abuja in October was led by EU Commissioner for International Partnership Jutta Urpilainen and her energy equivalent, Kadri Simson.

“Prior to their visit, Helena Konig, the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and Rita Laranjinha, the Managing Director, of Africa at the EEAS, had also been in the country.

“This followed the visits in 2022 by Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s Executive Vice President, in February, the EU and Member States Maritime Security Coordinators in April, and senior officials of the European Commission responsible for Energy and Home Affairs,” the statement reads.

To strengthen their cooperation, the EU and Nigeria decided on a more comprehensive political framework called the EU-Nigeria Joint Way Forward in 2008.

In the broader framework of the EU’s ties with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, the agreement sets the principles, norms, and priority areas for greater political discussion and collaboration.

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