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Thursday, January 12, 1973 in Paris. Formal negotiations marking another turning point in the history of Franco-Malagasy relations opened in Paris, presided over by Maurice Schumann, French Minister of Foreign Affairs. The object is to re-examine the Co-operation Agreements initialed in the French capital on 2 April 1960 and signed at Antananarivo on 27 June of the same year. These seal the relations between the Metropolis and its former colony.
Their questioning is that, a decade later, the Malagasy see “that they no longer fit the aspirations of a people who becomes aware of its sovereignty and its independence” (Georges Ramamonjisoa, Bulletin de Madagascar , March-April 1973). The then foreign minister, Commander Didier Ratsiraka, considers them to be “de facto obsolete”.
The 1973 negotiations will therefore have a “global character”, that is to say, according to the
Chronicler, “that they will concern the whole of the relations which had been established between the two countries”. In particular on national defense, the French bases installed in the island, Malagasy currency and teaching to adapt to local realities.
This is why the thirty members of the Malagasy delegation headed by the head of diplomacy are Minister Albert-Marie Ramaroson (Economy and Finance), Dr. Albert Rakoto-Ratsimamanga, Malagasy Ambassador to Paris, and 27 Business Foreign Affairs, Economy and Finance, Defense, Justice, Cultural and Social Affairs, Agriculture and Merchant Marine. Before embarking for Paris on 20 January 1973, Minister Ratsiraka gave a press briefing to some 80 journalists.
He recalled that in 1960, the Great Island had no draft agreements to present and could only “place commas in the French draft”. Moreover, he affirms with force that “a defense can only be national because a government can not defend another country as it would defend its own”, and that in money matters, Madagascar claims Independence for its Institute resignation.
Didier Ratsiraka describes his mission, which deals with the presentation of “the orientation of our foreign policy in general and the revision of the so-called agreements of cooperation with France in particular”. It begins with President Nyerere’s “historic words”, delivered at the Arusha Declaration. “We have been severely oppressed, widely exploited, long humiliated. This is due to our weakness. Now we want a revolution that will put an end to this weakness so that we are no longer oppressed, exploited, despised. “
The Minister of Foreign Affairs continues on the necessity “of a revolution in our mentality, in our way of being, a political revolution so that such exploitation and contempt can never again arrive in Madagascar”. This will have to be reflected in the country’s foreign policy.
According to him, it must be based on the best interests of the nation, territorial integrity, national unity and independence. “This foreign policy tends, in the first place, to safeguard our unity, to defend our interests. It also tends to preserve our independence and our freedom, our free will, our autonomy of decision in all fields. It tends, finally, to preserve peace and justice when the opportunity arises. “
However, this political, economic and cultural independence does not mean
self. Madagascar is poor and its development requires it to cooperate with third countries, neighbors, African, European, Asian or American partners. But it will always be the only one to adopt a major decision concerning it, in order to freely organize its policy and its economy.
“Without being imposed from the outside,” comments Georges Ramamonjisoa.
Didier Ratsiraka said: “Far from being confined within its borders, far from being absorbed in any political bloc, in any ideological plan, Madagascar deliberately opens itself outwards, provided that the countries with which it has Of relations, are willing to accept the five principles of peaceful coexistence. Some people spread the report of the disappointment of the Minister of Foreign Affairs during his visits to the communist capitals. It is not so. To be disappointed, you had to wait a lot. “
Lastly, Minister Didier Ratsiraka announced that “in order to solve the immediate financial problems and the lack of conciliatory attitude of some countries of the western camp to grant a loan, Madagascar must turn to the countries of East and Asia, in particular China !”