Francophone countries meet in Tunisia summit amid democracy, economy concerns

© Ludovic Marin, AFP

The world's French-speaking countries gathered in Tunisia on Saturday for talks focused on economic cooperation, but faced calls to do more to resolve international crises.

The head of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) urged the organisation to use its clout in a world "fractured" by multiple crises. "The IOF must remain a link that can be used to prevent tensions from degenerating into conflicts," said Louise Mishikiwabo, a former Rwandan chief diplomat.

Around 30 heads of state and government, including French and Senegalese presidents Emmanuel Macron and Macky Sall, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, attended the summit on the Tunisian resort island of Djerba.

The event is a diplomatic boon for President Kais Saied, whose government has faced international criticism since a sweeping power grab last year.

Macron, who also attended the G20 summit in Bali and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting earlier this week, is not due to address the summit.

'Totally powerless'


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