World, Europe

French president in Cameroon for wide-ranging discussions

Cameroonian and French presidents discuss regional stability, energy, food security, and inflation amid Russia's war on Ukraine

Aurore Bonny   | 26.07.2022
French president in Cameroon for wide-ranging discussions

DOUALA, Cameroon

Cameroon's President Paul Biya received his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday in the country's capital Yaounde, where they discussed regional stability, energy, food security, and inflation amid Russia's war on Ukraine.

"Our talks today enabled us, like previous ones, to review the national issues in our countries as well as the international situation,” Biya told reporters after their meeting, adding: “We discussed security threats in our sub-region and our continent as well as ways and means of dealing with them.”

They discussed the energy crisis, the disruption of the global grain market, and widespread inflation, he added.

"These are global challenges that require a global response,” Biya said, adding that they also discussed the Ukraine war “and the destruction and suffering it is causing with global repercussions.”

“President Macron and I believe that everything must be done to bring the hostilities to a rapid end. To accomplish this, the logic of confrontation must yield to the logic of conciliation and dialogue," he added.

Cameroon, he said, will do everything possible to hasten the end of this conflict, the effects of which it is feeling, particularly inflation, transportation difficulties, and people's anxiety about the future.

Macron's visit to the central African country on Monday evening affirmed the quality and strength of their longstanding relations, here.

Macron said his stopover in Cameroon, which ends Wednesday before he proceeds to Benin and Guinea-Bissau, is "not by chance."

"Firstly, because of the depth of Franco-Cameroonian relations and the exceptional nature of the friendship between our two countries … Second, because Cameroon is a strategic partner in central Africa, a region I wish to devote more time to during my second five-year term," he said.

As the French presence has been challenged, Macron said he believes it requires a communion of actions on a more transparent market and greater collective efficiency.

He said he wanted to broaden his collaboration with his host in areas such as anti-terrorism work in the Gulf of Guinea, digital projects, and infrastructure.

The president also expressed "admiration" for Cameroon's youth, saying France intends to help them "to the maximum" extent possible.

He also stressed France's support for Cameroon's decentralization process. He said he believes regionalization is a reaction to the Anglophone separatist crisis, which continues to afflict the country's northwest and southwest regions.

"A lasting solution can only be found through this political process of dialogue, reform, progress, and conciliation," Macron said.

Asked if he would run for reelection, Biya, 89, who has been in power for 40 years, said the answer will come in time and that he currently enjoys the mandate that Cameroon's constitution requires.​​​​​​​

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