World Bulletin/News Desk
France and Africa should "write a new future together," French President Francois Hollande told Senegal‘s president Friday, during a day-long trip to the former French colony.
"What brings us together today is our shared future ... Senegal and France share a common history, a culture and a language," Hollande told reporters in Dakar, on his first visit to the continent since being elected president in May.
He reminded the audience at the whitewashed presidential palace, and later on the floor of the national assembly, that Senegal's first president, Leopold Sedar Senghor, was part of the committee that drafted the text of the French constitution. And he paid homage to the African soldiers, many conscripted by force, who died in France's imperial wars, including in Indochina and Algeria.
"Between France and Senegal, there's a history. There's a language that we both speak. There's a culture that we share and that both of our people contributed to," Hollande said in the garden of the neoclassical palace, in one of the many remarks that focused on the similarities between the two nations. "I didn't come to Africa to impose my way, or to deliver a lesson on morality," he added later, in a speech to parliament. "I consider Africans as my partners and as my friends."
Among the last heads of state to visit the island was America‘s former leader George W. Bush. For Bush‘s visit, Goree‘s inhabitants were forced to leave in order to ensure security. Hollande‘s aides assured journalists that the same thing would not happen for his visit.
After leaving Senegal, Hollande will continue on to the Francophone Summit in Kinshasa.Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ekim 2012, 16:46