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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

Russia’s African influence grows as envoy claims 1,890 ‘instructors’ in Central African Republic



The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic, Alexander Bikantov has revealed that the country’s military presence in the insurgency-plagued African country.

Bikantov said in an interview published on Friday that 1,890 “Russian instructors” were present in the country. He mentioned that a focus of operations for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group mercenary outfit.

“Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the C.A.R.. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui sent the relevant application to the UN Security Council”. Bikantov was quoted by the state-owned news agency RIA.

Russia’s influence among African countries battling insurgency has been on the rise lately, with solidified ties with West African country, Mali and much more recently its neighbours Burkina Faso. Both countries, which are under military dictators have reportedly engaged Russian mercenaries – the Wagner Group in the bid to overcome the uprising in their territories.

There are however reports of likely cases of crimes against humility by the government of Mali in its fight against terrorism in connection with its engagement with the Wagner group.

Although it is mineral-rich, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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Musings From Abroad

Israel, Sudan advance talks normalise relations



Following a transfer of power from the military to a civilian government in Khartoum, Israel, and Sudan have finalized a deal to normalise relations.

The Israeli foreign ministry made the revelation on Thursday, noting that the deal was agreed upon during a visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to “move forward towards normalising relations between the two countries.”

The visit is the first by an Israeli official acknowledged by Sudanese authorities, though there had been a series of exchanges by officials in recent years.

According to a statement by the Israeli foreign ministry, “… the visit, which was made with the consent of the United States, the parties finalised the text of the agreement.”

“The signing ceremony is expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country,” it said.

“We definitely look forward to signing the agreement and then to having diplomatic representatives both in Israel and in Sudan,” Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the foreign ministry who took part in the delegation, Cohen told newsmen.

“We are (now) building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘Three No’s’ will become the ‘Three Yeses’,” he said. “Yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples.”

In January 2021 Sudan said its then-justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari had signed the Abraham Accords during a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A joint statement issued by the governments of Israel, Sudan, and the United States said that “The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations.”

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