France pledges to support 'African renaissance'

27th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 27 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac Tuesday congratulated his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki as the latter was sworn in for a second term, pledging support from Paris for an "African renaissance".

PARIS, April 27 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac Tuesday congratulated his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki as the latter was sworn in for a second term, pledging support from Paris for an "African renaissance".

"I want to offer you my warmest congratulations for this show of confidence and esteem given to you by your fellow countrymen", Chirac told Mbeki in a message later released by his office.

Mbeki's ceremonial swearing-in in Pretoria coincided with South Africa's 10th anniversary celebration of the end of apartheid.

The African National Congress won close to 70 percent of all votes in general elections earlier this month, insuring the 61-year-old Mbeki a second five-year term.

His inauguration due to take place in Pretoria on Tuesday before around 50 African heads of state and government, including South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela.

Chirac praised the "exceptional democratic transition" in the country following 46 years of the racist apartheid regime, and noted that the country had made economic and social progress under Mbeki's leadership.

"France remains at your side to accompany you in the making of an 'African renaissance', in your country and across the continent", Chirac said.

The 10th anniversary celebrations coincide with "Freedom Day", which marks the end of apartheid when the first democratic elections were held on April 27, 1994.

© AFP

                                         Subject: French news

 

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