Danish PM heads to Egypt to 'maintain influence' in Africa
As the West loses influence in Africa, the Danish PM looks to strengthen ties before Europe is "isolated."
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, expressed her deep concern that Europe "risks being isolated in a new world" unless it "very rapidly" reaches out to new partners and forges strong alliances. She is now visiting Egypt as part of what she has called "a battle of influence on the African continent."
According to Frederiksen, who has already had a lengthy meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to discuss topics ranging from the green transition to African refugee flows to the EU during her three-day visit, Europe will have to understand "not just one, but two unpleasant truths about Africa."
One is that African countries "do not look at international development in the same way as Europeans." The other is that "great powers such as Russia and China are well on their way to gaining influence in Africa at the expense of Europe."
"I have a fundamental concern that Europe risks being isolated in a new world if we are not very, very quickly able to reach out to new partners and build some stronger alliances," Mette Frederiksen told Danish media.
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She added that "on the entire African continent, Russia and China are very actively present with investments and trade. And Europe hasn't in recent years played as active a role on the international stage as we should."
Denmark's new foreign policy
According to reports, this strategy represents a shift in Danish foreign policy. Previously, Copenhagen, like its Nordic counterparts, made a point of emphasizing human rights and democratic values in relation to "dictatorships," a term used by Danish lawmakers and the press to describe Egypt. However, democracy and human rights are conspicuously missing from the agenda this time, indicating a retreat from what experts used to refer to as an "activist" foreign policy.
"Egypt does not have a Western mentality. Egypt has an Egyptian attitude," Frederiksen said, seemingly abandoning dreams of "Westernization." That said, Denmark is in the process of implementing a new foreign and security policy strategy first presented in January of last year.
"We want to build a much closer bond with North Africa, both bilaterally and through the EU. A collaboration that is commensurate with how important the North African countries are to Danish interests," the Danish Foreign Ministry said in the strategy.
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Earlier this year, Eritrea's Ambassador to Russia Petros Tseggai told Sputnik in an interview on January 8th that France and other Western countries are losing influence in Africa.
According to him, "another world" is being built right now, and Africans will be able to "breathe freely" once they are free of American and French influence.
Tseggai noted that the countries that suffer the most from foreign manipulation are former French colonies, as France has "not a neo-colonialist, but a colonialist attitude".