France salutes Georgia’s participation in Central African mission

French FM Laurent Fabius welcomed Georgia’s decision to contribute troops to the EU mission in Africa., 24 Apr 2014 - 14:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

France has thanked Georgia for its decision to take part in the French-led peace mission in the troubled Central African Republic.

Speaking at a joint news conference after talks with Georgia’s Foreign Minister in Tbilisi, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius welcomed Georgia’s decision to contribute troops to the EU military mission in Africa.

"You might say that Central Africa is far away though it is not so far when the issue is about taking part in stopping people being slaughtered. We live in a world where everything is interconnected and Europe is also the victim of what is happening there,” Fabius said.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze reconfirmed the country’s readiness to send soldiers to the troubled region.

"We are proud that Georgian soldiers will be helping French units in providing peace and security there,” Panjikidze said.

The Georgian Government decided to send 150 soldiers to join French and African Union troops in Central Africa. This was the first time Georgia contributed to an EU Security and Defence Mission and its first operation in Africa.

The mission aspired to create "a safe haven" at Bangui airport and in two nearby districts of the Central African Republic to allow the return of refugees who fled following violence between Muslim and Christian communities.

More than 100,000 people are currently living in awful conditions near the airport and almost a million people have been displaced in the country.