The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has had a “working lunch” with his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara at the Elysee Palace.This Wednesday, January 25, 2023, “I had an excellent working lunch with President Emmanuel Macron,” said the Ivorian head of state who added he exchanged with Mr. Macron “on bilateral and regional issues of common interest.”
“I am delighted with the solid and confident partnership between our two countries,” President Alassane Ouattara further said. Pictures show that the two heads of state met for a tête-à-tête during which they reviewed cooperation between Cote d’Ivoire and France.
They also discussed “the security situation in the West African sub-region as well as the crucial issue of the fight against terrorism in West Africa and the Sahel,” an official note from the Ivorian presidency reports.
This meeting comes in a context where the Transition in Burkina Faso, led by Captain Ibrahim Traore, is asking France to withdraw the 450 French soldiers based in the country, under Operation Sabre. The Quai d’Orsay indicates that it will respect the one-month deadline demanded by the Burkinabe authorities.
Paris no doubt wants to ensure a good partnership with Abidjan in the security field, especially since France has a military base in Cote d’Ivoire with 950 soldiers who play an operational and strategic role in the sub-region.
The last meeting between Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and Emmanuel Macron took place on May 16, 2022 at the Elysee Palace. This Thursday, January 26, 2023, Macron will have a private meeting with Umaro Sissoco Embalo, the president of Guinea-Bissau and current chair of ECOWAS.