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Vol 42 No 3

Published 9th February 2001

How high the summit

The English-speakers stayed away and the meeting was cosy but bland

President Jacques Chirac is growing ambivalent about Africa. A critical observer of Franco-African affairs, the Chairman of the non-governmental organisation Survie, François-Xavier Verschave, has called the Angolagate affair (see Feature) 'the longest scandal of the Fifth Republic'. Its unwinding has hit, firstly, Jean-Christophe 'Papa-m'a-dit' Mitterrand, the former Minister for Development Cooperation, Michel Roussin, and former Interior Minister Charles Pasqua (AC Vol 41 No 25). Chirac is open to accusations of guilt by association: did he know what his key political aides, Pasqua (still head of the Ile-de-France Region) and Roussin (an ex-external security officer), were up to in past decades and if he knew, why didn't he stop them? Prudently, Chirac insists that justice take its course.

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