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Business, security on agenda as Gabon’s transitional President visits France

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The transitional President of Gabon, Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema begins his first official visit to France this Tuesday with an entourage of several ministers and will be received by President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace, RFI reported.

Bilateral relations, subjects of common interest such as climate and forests, and the progress of Gabon’s transition will be on high on the agenda for discussion during Oligui Nguema’s trip to Paris.

The interim leader’s working visit will also serve to distance Gabon from Sahel countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which have been shaken by a string of coups d’états and the rejection of French influence in the region.

Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema will be received at the Élysée Palace by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Friday 31 May.

However, some see this visit as the Gabonese head of state seeking legitimacy from France.

Under former president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Franco-Gabonese relations had gone through chilly periods.

Libreville also seemed to be drifting away from French interests when it joined the British Commonwealth two years ago.

But last August’s putsch did not aggravate the cooling of relations.

On the contrary, the two countries have visibly maintained close ties.

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