First-ever France visit by Comoros president

25th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

MORONI, Jan 25 (AFP) - President Azali Assoumani of the Union of the Comoros islands will make an official visit to France next week, a first by a Comoros leader, diplomats said here.

MORONI, Jan 25 (AFP) - President Azali Assoumani of the Union of the Comoros islands will make an official visit to France next week, a first by a Comoros leader, diplomats said here.

Colonel Azali is to arrive in Paris on January 31 and hopes to lobby for French support for assistance, particularly from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, to the Indian Ocean island nation, they said.

In addition, he will be seeking to boost bilateral cooperation with France which has languished in recent years, they said.

Last year, Azali named a federal government for the islands, completing a transition process for greater independence across the impoverished mainly Muslim archipelago off the east coast of southern Africa.

Elections for island and federal parliaments were held in March and April, ending years of political crisis and a succession of successful and foiled coups d'etat.

The Indian Ocean islands became independent from France in 1975. In 1997 two smaller islands, Anjouan and Moheli, unilaterally declared self-rule.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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