On Life, love and Politics

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Cameroon Renews “Cooperation” Accords with France May 23, 2009

Filed under: Current News/Actualites,Politics/Politique — kikenileda @ 8:20 AM

President Paul Biya and visiting French Prime Minister, François Fillon examined issues of bilateral
ties between Yaounde and Paris yesterday at the Unity Palace.

The courtyard of the Unity Palace was yesterday May 21, 2009, lined
with the French and Cameroon flags in honour of an august guest in the
country, French Prime Minister François Fillon. For over three hours,
President Paul Biya and Prime Minister Fillon as well as their
entourage had much in terms of acts that will help to reinforce
bilateral ties between Cameroon and France.

Besides the over one hour long tête-à-tête between President
Paul Biya and the French Prime Minister, there was the signing of three
cooperation agreements between the two countries, the decoration of
François Fillon and a State lunch that marked the Unity Palace segment
of the French PM’s visit that began at 11a.m. when Mr. Fillon arrived.

One of the focal points at the Unity Palace was no doubt the accords signed by various officials in both delegations.

Signing of Accords

The accord on the control of immigration between Cameroon and
France was signed by the French Minister of Immigration and Identity,
Eric Besson for France while the Delegate General for National
Security, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o signed for Cameroon. It was followed
by the security agreement signed by the French Secretary of State for
Defence, Jean Marie Bockel and the Minister Delegate at the Presidency
in charge of Defence, Rémy Ze Meka. The last accord was that on health.
The French Secretary of State in charge of Cooperation and
Francophonie, Alain Joyandet appended his signature on the document for
France and the Secretary of State for Public Health, Alim Hayatou did
same for Cameroon.

If the immigration accord requires that Cameroon should play
an active role in checking the exodus of its citizens to France, the
military accord focused on France avoiding military assistance to
Cameroon in favour of regional partnership cooperation in matters of
defence and security. The French Prime Minister said this is in line
with measures proposed by President Nicolas Sarkozy when he addressed
the South African Parliament in February 2008. On the other hand, the
health accord covers a five-year period from 2009 to 2013 and will
concern the development of health infrastructure, training of health
personnel, and subsidies to government in the treatment of diseases
such as AIDS, tuberculosis among others.

Still further, the immigration accord equally previews that
France will make available 12 million Euros to Cameroon for various
solidarity development programmes and some 66 professional training
programmes open in France to Cameroonians. Although more details on the
accords are still to be made public, it is clear that France through
the immigration agreement is out to look for ways to forestall the
tragic drama faced by African youths who keep risking their lives in
the high seas as they attempt travelling to Europe in search of greener
pasture.

Financing of the health accord has been estimated at FCFA 36
billion under the C2D debt relief contract signed between Cameroon and
France.

Visit Marked by Solemnity

President Paul Biya and the French Prime Minister, François
Fillon gave the Unity Palace rendez-vous all the attention and
solemnity that such a high-profile contact deserves. Immediately after
the one-hour tête-à-tête, the Head of State and the French Prime
Minister moved to the adjacent hall where they had an exchange of
gifts. They were joined by the first lady, Chantal Biya who added
glamour to the occasion as she also received a gift from François
Fillon. Prior to the exchange of gifts, Mr. Biya raised the French
Prime Minister to the dignity of Grand Officer of the National Order of
Valour.

The entire entourage of the President of the Republic and the
Prime Minister of France took turns to congratulate Mr. Fillon for the
decoration before moving to the Hall of the Cabinet meeting where they
had the signing of documents and a tea-party that was punctuated by two
toasts.

In his speech at the occasion, François Fillon lauded the
peaceful settling of the Cameroon Nigeria boundary conflict and hailed
President Paul Biya for enabling Cameroon to play a stabilizing role in
the Central African Sub-region. He reiterated President Sarkozy’s
invitation to President Paul Biya to travel to France next July. The
Prime Minister concluded with a toast in honor of the Head of State,
the First Lady and the entourage of the President of the Republic at
the occasion.

On his part, President Biya appreciated the long standing ties
between both countries that have been marked by mutual respect. He
pointed out that Cameroon is on the right path to decentralization,
public freedom and human rights. The ceremony ended by 2:30p.m.

Richard KWANG KOMETA

 

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