Cordialité, amitié et compréhension ont caractérisé le tête-à-tête entre les deux chefs d’Etat.
Les deux hommes ont bouclé leur tout premier entretien par une grande accolade. Le chef de l’Etat français et son invité étaient visiblement satisfaits. Comme en témoigne cette effusion d’au revoir qui allait au-delà de la poignée de main d’accueil. Peu de temps après, devant la presse, Paul Biya confirme : l’entretien s’est déroulé dans un climat de cordialité, d’amitié et de compréhension. C’était vendredi dernier sur le perron du palais de l’Elysée, au dernier jour de la visite de travail du chef de l’Etat en France. Premier sujet abordé au cours de l’entretien, « la coopération se porte très bien », selon la conclusion des deux hommes d’Etat. Et Paul Biya a tenu à remercier son hôte pour le soutien de la France au moment où le Cameroun traversait la difficile période de crise économique, sous ajustement structurel. Sur l’Afrique que le président français place parmi les priorités de son programme, son homologue camerounais a exprimé sa satisfaction ainsi que celle de l’ensemble des Africains, notamment dans son implication dans la recherche de la paix au Darfour, au Tchad et en Centrafrique. L’invitation de Paul Biya à Nicolas Sarkozy à visiter le Cameroun a été acceptée. La dernière journée de la visite de travail du chef de l’Etat s’est achevée par un dîner officiel offert en l’honneur du couple présidentiel, au quai d’Orsay, siège du ministère des Affaires étrangères où le maître de céans, Bernard Kouchner, a convié le chef de l’Etat, la première dame, ainsi que les membres de sa délégation. Dans la matinée de vendredi, le président Paul Biya a accordé une audience à Charles Pasqua, homme politique français, ancien ministre. MONDA BAKOA Nicolas Sarkozy To Visit Cameroon The first meeting between the French Leader and President Paul Biya at the Elysee was marked by cordiality, friendship and comprehension. After more than thirty five minutes tête-à-tête with Nicolas Sarkozy, President Paul Biya told the international press assembled at the Elysee that his invitation to the French President to visit Cameroon has been accepted. He began the exchange with the media by thanking the French President for inviting him to the Elysee. Revisiting the historic links between the two countries, the President said their discussions were centered on bilateral cooperation which they concluded was in good health. The support of France to Cameroon during the economic squeeze remains indelible and President Paul Biya did not miss the opportunity of this first meeting with President Sarkozy to express his gratitude. The second segment of their discussions was centered on Africa. By placing Africa among his priorities, President Sarkozy ignited the appreciation of the continent and President Biya said this clearly in reference to actions taken by the French to seek solutions to problems in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic. The President also said he mentioned the issue of economic partnership agreements, insisting that his meeting with President Sarkozy took place in an atmosphere of cordiality, friendship and comprehension. Priorities Responding to a question on a possible new mandate in 2011, President Paul Biya said although it is an ongoing debate in Cameroon, he can only stress that the problem of the next election is not an urgency given that 2011 is still far away. For now, the President insisted, his priorities are the fight against AIDS, poverty, the battle to advance prosperity in Cameroon, stability and security in Africa. The President insisted that the fight against corruption will continue. He said after the government reshuffle, he told the Ministers that the fight against corruption was on the list of government priorities alongside economic restructuring and the amelioration of the quality of life of Cameroonians. On the Gabon-Equatorial Guinea conflict, he said he was in contact with the two Presidents and that his advice had to do with negotiation and concertation. President Paul Biya arrived the Elysee Palace at 4 p.m (Paris time) went through military honours before being received with a warm handshake from a smiling President Nicolas Sarkozy at the steps of the Elysee Palace. The two Presidents moved into the interior of the Elysee for the more than thirty five minutes discussion. After the meeting, President Sarkozy led his guest to the courtyard of the Elysee and after a farewell embrace, President Paul Biya walked to waiting microphones to face the international press assembled for the event. French Media After the more than ten minutes exchange with the media, President Paul Biya left for the Hotel Plaza Athenee (his residence in Paris). Shortly afterwards, he was invited to an exclusive interview at the eighth floor of the same hotel by a French television Channel “France 24”. In a lively exchange that lasted beyond half an hour, the President was said to have responded clearly and smoothly to questions that touched on diverse subjects. Later in the evening the Presidential Couple were received at the Quai d’Orsay by Bernard Kouchner, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. After a meeting between President Biya and Bernard Kouchner, a dinner was offered by the French Foreign Minister in honour of the Presidential Couple. In a four-page special on Cameroon the French daily newspaper “ Le Figaro” in its weekend edition has described President Paul Biya as the “best lawyer for his country”. The newspaper sees the President on “all fronts”, promoting the visibility of Cameroon and canvassing foreign investments in favour of his country. It examines the relations between France and Cameroon concluding that the nation is turning resolutely towards greater achievements in development. The newspaper deciphers in the recent meeting between Paul Biya and Nicolas Sarkozy an opportunity to strengthen the political and economic relations between Cameroon and France. The “Figaro” special report on Cameroon and the exclusive interview of President Paul Biya by “France 24” television channel are part of the positive communication foray to plant the nation’s image permanently on the global psyche. Emmanuel TATAW