France and Comoros

Presentation

Political relations

Although in disagreement on the issue of the island of Mayotte, over which the Union of the Comoros claims sovereignty, France and Comoros remain key partners. Human ties, as attested by the very many citizens with dual nationality, and neighbourly relations (migratory pressure on Mayotte) are key.

On 21 June 2013, the Presidents of France and the Comoros signed a “Paris declaration on friendship and cooperation between France and Comoros” to revive the bilateral relationship. A strengthened political dialogue was opened with the creation of a “High Joint Council” (HCP), which met in Paris in November 2013, November 2014, July 2015 and October 2015.

President Azali visited Paris on 4 October 2016 for a meeting with President Hollande, ahead of the fourth HCP meeting. Several new avenues for cooperation were proposed as part of an emergency action plan. A dialogue mission, led by Mr Queyranne, visited the Comoros in February 2017 and France and the EU announced that they were prepared to raise the level of their joint commitment to the Comoros from €135 million to €150 million over the period 2015-2020.

Visits

  • 21 June 2013: President Hollande received President Ikililou at the Élysée Palace to sign the declaration of friendship
  • 23 August 2014: President Hollande took part in the Indian Ocean Commission Summit in Moroni
  • 26 February 2016: meeting of Mr Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, with Mr Abdoulkarim Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Union of the Comoros, in the margins of the Indian Ocean Commission Council of Ministers
  • 26 May 2016: Mr André Vallini attended the inauguration ceremony of President Azali in the Comoros
  • 4 October 2016: meeting of President Hollande with President Azali at the Élysée Palace, ahead of the fourth HCP, chaired for the Comoros by Mr Mohamed Bacar Dossar, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • 1 March 2017: Mr Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, met with his counterpart during the 32nd COI Council of Ministers in La Réunion.

Economic relations

  • In 2015, trade between France and the Comoros was up by €6 million compared to the previous year, to almost €33.4 million in French exports to Comoros and more than €6 million in imports.
  • Migrant remittances to the Comoros are substantial, at about 23% of GDP.
  • The competent French economic mission is in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

  • French cooperation with the Union of the Comoros is governed by a joint programming framework document. The document for the period 2015-2020 provides for a total budget of €135 million, including more than €25 million for implementation by the AFD for projects that are already prepared and ready. Their implementation does, however, depend on the country’s ability to address its many handicaps: energy, isolation, maritime transport, subcontracting and compliance with contracts. At this stage, these weaknesses affect the volume of disbursements, which remains below the targets set.
  • On 27 September 2010, France and the Union of the Comoros signed a new Defence Partnership Agreement to develop the Comorian army’s capabilities and providing for cooperation in the field of maritime security.
  • France has also placed an international technical expert (ITE) at the disposal of the Union of the Comoros, specialized in the fields of airport security and air and border policing, and another ITE attached to the Central Bank of the Comoros.

Updated: 15 May 2017

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