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FRANCE - BOLIVIa

Morales, Hollande link climate change and poverty on Paris visit

Bolivian President Evo Morales with François Hollande; 9 November 2015
Bolivian President Evo Morales with François Hollande; 9 November 2015 Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

France and Bolivia agree that there is a strong link between the fight against poverty and the fight against global warming when Bolivian President Evo Morales visited Paris to meet French President François Hollande on Monday.

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Hollande said that fighting poverty is key to raising the technological level of countries so they can find ways to avoid using fossil fuels.

He and Morales linked the issues of poverty and global warming, ahead of the UN's Cop21 Climate Conference that France will be hosting later this month.

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But Morales’ visit was not just about the climate – he also met French business leaders and a 185-million-euro contract was signed with the French firm Thales for civil and military radar to fight drug trafficking.

Morales is on his third term in office, and looking ahead to a fourth – he took advantage of being in Paris to make a point about Bolivia’s natural resources – a topic close to his heart, as he says Bolivia has recovered control over its resources thanks to grassroots struggles.

"Whether French, European or from other parts of the world, companies are our partners – and we welcome them," he said.

"They are no longer, as before, owners of our natural resources.

Our economic model has allowed Bolivia to quickly get out of the economic and social situation it was in before."

The French Development Agency also signed a deal with Bolivia to fund development projects worth 100million euros this year and 250 million euros next year.

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