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France - Senegal

Sarkozy and Sall sign defence and aid deals for Senegal

Reuters/Benoit Tessier

France has signed defence and aid deals with Senegal’s newly elected President Macky Sall, who visited Paris on Wednesday. Sall promised transparency and development and called for “healthier relations between Africa and France”.

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Sall met French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who faces a stiff fight to be reelected at the moment, for lunch at the Elysée presidential palace.

The two men signed the defence deal, which will published “in all transparency”, according to Sarkozy, as have all such agreements with France’s former African colonies since 2008.

Its most important feature – the reduction of the permanent French troop presence in Senegal from 1,200 to 300 - was already agreed in 2010 with Sall’s predecessor, Abdulaye Wade.

The two countries finance ministers, Amadou Kane and François Baroin, signed an agreement that will mean France lending 130 million euros, with 50 million euros becoming available in June.

“We will use these resources well, in the perspective which I will sign with my government,” Sall said. “We’ll work transparently, to put money into useful things, for the social and economic development of Senegal.”

His country “will always be a partner in healthier relations between Africa and France, and of especially high quality with Senegal,” he declared.

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