French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, expressed on Tuesday in Abidjan his country’s “total support” to Cote d’Ivoire, after a meeting with Alassane Ouattara.
Mr. Darmanin said he was in Abidjan to bring a message of friendly greeting from Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic, to the Ivorian Head of State Alassane Ouattara. They then discussed the issue of regional stability.
The French Minister of Interior said they talked about “the difficult situation prevailing in Mali,” adding that “our support is total with the government of Cote d’Ivoire for these soldiers who are imprisoned today.”
He visited the same day the Academy for the Fight against Terrorism in Jacqueville (South), a training center for which “Cote d’Ivoire and France are very committed and for which (the two countries want) to continue to help obviously for the stability of Africa” and the West African region.
He noted the excellence and quality of friendly relations between Paris and Abidjan, insisting also that his visit to Abidjan and those of many other French authorities before him were aimed in particular at further consolidating bilateral cooperation every day.
Mr. Darmanin then met with the Minister of State, Minister of Defense, Mr. Tene Birahima Ouattara, at his office. He did not make any statement to the press after the meeting. Despite calls from the UN and ECOWAS to release the 46 Ivorian soldiers, Bamako insists they are “mercenaries,” which Abidjan refutes, claiming they were providing logistical support to the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).