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Azerbaijan plays significant role in combating France’s neo-colonialist policy – Marie-Line Sakilia (Interview)

BAKU: Azerbaijan plays a significant role in combating France’s neo-colonialist policy, Marie-Line Sakilia, Deputy Chair of the Commission on Family and Women’s Affairs of the Parliament of New Caledonia, told Trend in an exclusive interview.

“The impact of the Baku Initiative Group under Azerbaijan’s presidency is making a major contribution to international awareness of France’s desire to keep its colonies active. It is also helping to raise awareness of Europe’s attempt to influence the commodities market, particularly the challenges facing the development of France’s flagship industries, which are the six levers for the success of France’s 2030 investment plan,” she said.

According to Sakilia, France’s fight against neo-colonialism in the Pacific is no different from its actions in the past, namely on the African continent in the 1960s, and it operates in the same way in New Caledonia.

“Declaring the sovereignty of a state, such as Kanaky, is also a preparation for cooperation agreements. It continues
and would be in continuity with a set of bilateral agreements that France would carry out in the Pacific, with countries such as India and Australia. The cooperation pact is also a way of stabilizing the giants that are Europe via France and in the face of the US, which through the extent of the Commonwealth with several overseas territories in the Pacific (the US territories) also marks its presence. It has to be said that other means are being deployed by French climate diplomacy in the search for a balance between sustainable development and energy security, for example, the France 2030 investment plan, for which New Caledonia has adopted the Energy Transition Scheme (STENC). New Caledonia’s electricity system, which is in deficit “thanks to the concept of greening our energy”, is nationalized and run by a French subsidiary, EEC, a subsidiary of ENGIE, which is helping to unravel the local nickel industry,” she explained.

Marie-Line Sakilia pointed out that New Caledonia’s large stockpiles of nickel in sl
ag would be an asset in attracting FDI investment from France, to the detriment of stainless steel manufacturing, which is considered to have far less potential.

“The Nickel crisis, which was declared at the same time as the recourse to the French government’s guarantee for bank loans of several tens of billions of XPF taken out by the industrialists Prony Resources and Société Le Nickel, aims to reduce the latter’s reliance on the export of raw ore, to the detriment of local production, and thus sets the level of involvement of the administering power about the decarbonization challenges of “securing access to raw materials”. New Caledonia began mining nickel in 1876 and has continued to do so ever since, with cumulative production (1876-2015) of 6.21 Mt Ni, or 10.2 percent of all the nickel mined in the world. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the French policy of “what is good for the security of France is good for the security of the local government, and vice versa”. However, the policy of the pre-square
is not necessarily good for our vital space Pacific, because we Oceanians have another vision of the world. Our Asia-Pacific culture gives the future state that we are, room for other national strategies and interests in terms of economic diplomacy, particularly in culinary matters, a market for the supply of raw materials whose exhaustion would be synonymous with the disappearance of the Asian species, which is inconceivable,” she added.

Since 2020, France has multiple times tried to keep New Caledonia within the French Republic, Sakilia added. “This third and latest referendum was marked by a record abstention, with more than one in two voters boycotting the ballot”.

“However, at the end of the successful governments, ministers Sébastien Lecornu and Gérald Darmanin response to the “situation thus created” decided to open discussions on the institutional future of New Caledonia, changing the format of the discussions by including civil society and local economic players, following the establishment of a Le
prédour group made up of ten political figures, replacing the Committee of Signatories with a closed-door dialogue sequence the day after the second statutory referendum,” she concluded.