Q. – Five years after the putsch in Madagascar, a new president has just been elected. Is it really the end of the crisis?
THE MINISTER – The election of the new Madagascan president is, at any rate, a turning point: it will be the beginning of the end of the crisis. But there is a crisis.
Q. – According to the Madagascan constitution, the president chooses his prime minister at the proposal of the Assembly, if the latter recommends him… Isn’t there a risk of returning to the old ways of the past?
THE MINISTER – I think he got 53 deputies, so he can’t be sidelined, so he’ll most probably be part of this government. We must give the new president credit; Madagascar has been a very isolated country since 2009. It’s the largest French-speaking country in the Indian Ocean and it’s home to more than 25,000 French people. Madagascar must rejoin the OIF [Organisation internationale de la Francophonie – international Francophone organization]. At any rate, on behalf of France I’ll support Madagascar’s reintegration into the Conseil permanent de la Francophonie [OIF body] in March 2014.
Q. – And will you say that in Antananarivo this Friday?
THE MINISTER – Absolutely.
Q. – Aren’t you afraid that the new president might be just a tool of Ange Rajoelina, a sort of Dmitri Medvedev to Vladimir Putin?
THE MINISTER – That’s a good image. Let’s give him credit: I think we all want that country to get back on its feet.
Q. – The African Union Commission Chairperson is calling on the international community to help Madagascar. What’s your response to her?
THE MINISTER – France has never abandoned Madagascar, even when the European Union withdrew, even the United States; we all want Madagascar to pull through this. (…)./.