Togo: French President Emmanuel Macron will receive Faure Gnassingbé at the Elysee Palace

maryam lahbal
maryam lahbal
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Emmanuel Macron

Amidst the upcoming coronation of King Charles III in London on Saturday, May 6th, French President Emmanuel Macron and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023, in Paris. This bilateral meeting marks the first time the two leaders will be meeting in almost two years, since President Gnassingbé’s previous visit to the Elysee Palace in April 2021.

While the meeting had been confirmed in principle for several days, the specific date has been recently announced. According to a source close to the Élysée, the two presidents will engage in an evening interview where security issues will be a central topic.

Togo has been the subject of jihadist attacks for the past 18 months, as recently acknowledged by President Faure Gnassingbé. The violent incursions, which primarily occur in the northern region of the country, particularly in the Savannah area, have resulted in the deaths of roughly one hundred civilians and nearly forty army personnel.

In light of these ongoing security concerns, President Gnassingbé has yet to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been engaging with several African heads of state in recent months to discuss the reorganization of the military system on the continent. President Gnassingbé’s exclusion from these discussions has raised questions regarding the nature of the new military dynamic in the West and the Sahel region.

As part of the preparations for this meeting, the authorities of the two countries engaged in upstream exchanges. Catherine Colonna met with her Togolese counterpart, Robert Dussey, on March 9th. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships visited Lomé at the end of March for a working visit.

Maryam Lahbal

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