France supports integration of African Union into G20, says FM

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called for the African Union’s integration into the G20 and to give the continent a “larger place” in the United Nations Security Council.

She made the remarks in her speech on Tuesday during the annual conference of French ambassadors in the capital, Paris.

“Convinced that relations between France and African countries have a bright future, the populist exploitation of anti-French rhetoric should not overshadow the quality of our relations in most cases,” Colonna said.

However, observers see Colonna’s statements about a bright future with Africa as contradicting reality, as Paris has tended over the past few years to lose its momentum in the continent in favour of the growing influence of other international powers.

The most prominent manifestations of the French retreat in Africa were when it withdrew from Mali in 2022, following a military coup after nine years of stationing in it within the framework of the Barkhane military force to combat terrorist organizations at the border with Niger.

The minister pointed out that African countries are “essential partners in facing many common challenges” and stressed that “France advocates the integration of the African Union into the G20” in addition to “giving Africa a greater place in the United Nations Security Council.”

Colonna touched on the crisis in Niger and the relations that deteriorated between the two countries after the military coup on July 26, as there were demands for France’s complete exit from Niamey and to stop interfering with its fate and controlling its capabilities.

“If we condemn the coup in Niger, it is because behind the screens of good governance and saving the country, there is nothing but a denial of democracy.” the minister said.

“Sometimes you have to go back to the simple truths: There are no democratic putschists, just as there were no moderate Taliban yesterday,” she added.

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