French taskforce in Guinea cooperation talks

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A French government taskforce met with Guinean authorities to discuss possible cooperation between Paris and its mineral-rich former colony, a statement said Tuesday.

The group, made up of senior officials from various French ministries and development officials, was visiting to "confirm France's support to Guinean authorities in terms of cooperation," a French embassy statement said.

The taskforce "aims to propose new courses of action" to the new government of Alpha Conde, who became the country's first democratically-elected president in November

Several European Union officials also partook in the talks during their four-day trip which will end Wednesday.

The members are expected to broach various issues including Guinea's public finances, security, water, electricity, agriculture and health.

French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie last month said that Paris plans to offer its former colony possible cooperation in different fields.

Guinea was isolated from the international community due to its string of dictatorships.

The world's leading exporter of bauxite, Guinea gained independence in 1958 after having been the only French colony in Africa to reject membership in a Franco-African Community proposed by former president Charles de Gaulle.

© 2011 AFP

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