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Madagascan new president meets new French ambassador
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09:29, March 20, 2009

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Andry Rajoelina, new President of the Indian Ocean island country, met on Thursday the new French Ambassador to Madagascar, Jean-Marc Chataigner, who arrived here on Wednesday

The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss strategies on how the transitional government established by Rajoelina early last month should be functioned, the president told the media shortly after the meeting.

Chataigner was received by Rajoelina upon his arrival at the international airport here on Wednesday.

He is the first foreign diplomat met by Rajoelina, 34, who was proclaimed on Wednesday as the president of the country, according to a statement by the High Constitutional Court, which also legalized his transitional government.

The statement followed a handover of presidential power by the military chief, Naval Admiral Hyppolite Ramaroson, who was appointed by former president Marc Ravalomanana to lead a military government.

Ravalomanana refused to meet ex-French Ambassador Gildas Le Lidec during his 5-month stay at the capital from April last year, forcing him to leave the country last August.

Ravalomanana's rivals, including his predecessor Didier Ratsiraka, have been living in exile in France ever since he stepped in as president of the country in 2002.


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