un jour nos pays Africain aurons de vrais dirigeant digne et capable de dirige un continent riche et prospere.
Doudou Mateso Dacosta
" LUANDA, Angola—French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid a visit of a few hours Friday to Angola, pledging to improve ties that have been strained for years by a major international arms scandal.
more stories like thisSarkozy told reporters he and his Angolan counterpart, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, had decided "to turn the page from the misunderstandings of the past and build a future based on trust and mutual respect."
Dos Santos said France and his oil-producing southern African country were entering an era of "trust, friendship and mutual respect."
They signed four cooperation and development accords in the areas of health, sanitation, higher education and French language instruction. Sarkozy added France's development and loan agencies would be returning to Angola, and that France would build a new embassy here. He also invited dos Santos to visit France next year.
Sarkozy, the first French president to visit Angola since Jacques Chirac in 1998, was accompanied by leading French businessmen, among them representatives of the oil company Total. Angola is the No. 2 sub-Saharan oil producer after Nigeria.
Other business leaders accompanying Sarkozy included representatives of Thales, which was expected to sign a telecommunication deal with Angola worth about 150 million euros (more than $200 million), and Areva, which was seeking rights to search for uranium in southern Angola.
Angola's two-decade civil war ended in 2002. It is still struggling to recover from the devastation of war, and from corruption. Human rights groups have repeatedly accused Angolan officials of hiding oil revenues.
The arms scandal involves 42 people, including the son of late French President Francois Mitterrand, who will stand trial in the coming months for suspected roles in illegal arms sales to Angola during its civil war.
Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, who served as counselor on African affairs from 1986-92 under his father, Russian-born Israeli businessman Arkady Gaydamak and French businessman Pierre Falcone are among those charged with illicit arms trafficking. Former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua is accused of influence-trafficking in the case.
The group is suspected of selling heavy weaponry to dos Santos during Angola's civil war. Prosecutors allege that the arms sales, carried out from 1993 to 2000 without clearance from the French government, totaled nearly $791 million."