Talks in Paris this week mark a further stage in the reconciliation between the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar and France.
Talks in Paris this week mark a further stage in the reconciliation between the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar and France. They follow three years of cool relationships, resulting from Madagascar withdrawal from the French currency zone, and expulsion of ten thousand French residents.
SYNOPSIS: Madagascar's Head of State, Didier Ratsiraka, met French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing at the Elysee Palace on Monday (25 September). President Giscard initiated the reconciliation in November last year, when a high level delegation from the Ministry of Co-operation was sent to Madagascar for talks. The two presidents are reported to have discussed the general international situation, with emphasis on the problems of Africa, and the Indian Ocean area. Earlier this year, Madagascar signalled a desire to play a role in their problems by offering to mediate in the Somali-Ethiopian conflict. President Ratsiraka, however, would not be drawn by newsmen as he left the palace.
French interest in Madagascar went untouched throughout the 12-year region of the island's founding president, Philibert Tsiranana. It was Ratsiraka who nationalised French interest on succeeding to the Presidency in 1975.