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“Look at us differently, considering us partners and not with a paternalistic look,” President Tshisekedi stressed to emphasize the importance of mutual respect.
Last week, during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron held in Kinshasa, Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), urged Europeans to respect African countries and abandon their claims to neocolonial domination.
"In our relations with France and with Western countries, the way of seeing things that are happening in Africa must change," Tshisekedi said during a press conference held jointly with Macron, who previously visited Gabon and Angola.
“Look at us differently, considering us partners and not with a paternalistic gaze,” Tshisekedi stressed to emphasize the importance of mutual respect between the European Union and African countries.
"The statements made by DRC’s president were warmly received and applauded by journalists and officials attending the press conference," Morocco World News reported.
"Tshisekedi’s remarks have been echoed by several countries, refusing France’s attitude and neo-colonialism approach," it added.
External interference in many African countries by western powers has fueled conflict & Africa has lost it's natural resources to these powers
In his reply, Macron tried to blame European journalists for statements that may have had paternalistic or disrespectful connotations.
Tshisekedi interrupted him to clarify that he was not referring to what the media said but rather to comments made by former French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
This French official described Tshisekedi's electoral victory in 2019 with the phrase "African compromise", thus hinting that the electoral result was a sub-optimal solution from a European perspective.
The dialogue between the two leaders became even more tense when the issue of relations between the DRC and Rwanda came up. These two African countries have had several diplomatic impasses as the Congolese accuse the neighboring nation of supporting M23 rebels in an attempt to grab their natural resources.
Tshisekedi asked European countries to sanction Rwanda. In his response, Macron said that the DRC is solely responsible for its own problems of insecurity and development.