Ivorian crisis worries leaders at Francophonie summit

Ouagadougou- Burkina Faso (PANA) -- The 10th International Organisation of the Francophonie summit opened Friday with speeches from Presidents and host Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Jacques Chirac of France and Omar Bongo Omdimba of Gabon.
Chirac and Compaore focused their remarks on the crisis plaguing Cote d'Ivoire since September 2002.
"The Francophonie is pained when one of its member countries is in a crisis.
It is distressed when the rejection of the ideals and values that it offers the rest of the world bereaves and places populations in precarious conditions," Compaore said.
He underscored the "sacrifices made by France and all the other states to find peaceful solutions to the political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti and the Great Lakes region.
" Chirac urged his Francophone peers to send Cote d'Ivoire "a firm but friendly message so that the parties at last can abandon the policy of violence, the illusion of achieving a military solution.
" "They should instead revive dialogue, the sole path to peace," he said.
The French leader recalled that the Francophonie, which is founded on mutual trust, "must be a place where misunderstandings and disagreements are addressed in a fraternal and conciliatory spirit.
" Gabonese leader, the third president to have taken the floor, appealed to his colleagues to de-criminalisation press-related and conscience crimes.
Saying that "we need journalists to wage our various combats," the Gabonese leader denounced the imprisonment of journalists for merely commenting on issues in society.
Eleven speakers have so far addressed the summit.

26 november 2004 15:59:00




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