Hollande invites African leaders

2013-05-25 22:47
President Francois Hollande addressing the AU meeting(AFP)

President Francois Hollande addressing the AU meeting(AFP)

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Addis Ababa - French President Francois Hollande on Saturday invited African leaders to a "peace and security" summit later in the year.

"I invite all African leaders to Paris for a meeting that will be devoted to peace and security and therefore in some way also, the fight against terrorism," he told reporters on the sidelines of African Union celebrations to mark 50 years of a continental bloc.

The summit is to be held on 6 and 7 December in the French capital, officials travelling with Hollande said.

He said that the relationship between Africa and Paris "must now be extended by the support that France will give African armies to defend themselves, including against the scourge of terrorism.

"It is for their safety, it is also for our own safety in Europe," Hollande said, adding that "it is Africans who will tomorrow ensure the security of the continent" even though "France will always be by their side."

However, Hollande dismissed suggestions that French forces in west Africa had opened up a second front after operations by special forces in Niger to combat Islamist insurgents there.

"There is only one front, the fight against terrorism everywhere," he said.

Read more on:    au  |  francois hollande  |  addis ababa  |  france  |  east africa

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