French president meets African Union chief

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia 

French President Emmanuel Macron met Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday.

After a closed-door meeting in capital Addis Ababa, they addressed a joint news conference.

Macron said discussions included ways of enhancing Franco-African cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the continent.

France has been involved in repelling a southward push by extremist armed groups in Mali’s north and also in the wider Sahel region, where terrorism has been expanding.

Moussa and Macron also spoke about the onslaught of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The AU chief said the two sides discussed strategic partnership between the bloc and France.

The French president arrived on an official visit to Ethiopia on Tuesday — his second stop after the tiny but strategically important Horn of Africa nation Djibouti.

On Tuesday, Macron and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed presided over the signing of cultural, military and investment agreements.

Macron also visited Lalibella, the site of Ethiopia’s world famous rock-hewn churches — a UNESCO World Heritage site — which France will renovate.

The French president has left for Kenya, the last leg of his Africa tour.

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