Foreign relations of the Comoros
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
In November 1975, Comoros became the 143rd member of the United Nations. The new nation was defined as consisting of the entire archipelago, despite the fact that France maintains control over Mayotte.
Comoros also is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, the European Development Fund, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Indian Ocean Commission, and the African Development Bank.
The government fostered close relationships with the more conservative (and oil-rich) Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It frequently received aid from those countries and the regional financial institutions they influenced, such as the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. In October 1993, Comoros joined the League of Arab States, after having been rejected when it applied for membership initially in 1977.
Regional relations generally were good. In 1985 Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles agreed to admit Comoros as the fourth member of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), an organization established in 1982 to encourage regional cooperation. In 1993 Mauritius and Seychelles had two of the five embassies in Moroni, and Mauritius and Madagascar were connected to the republic by regularly scheduled commercial flights.
In November 1975, Comoros became the 143d member of the UN. In the 1990s, the republic continued to represent Mahoré in the UN. Comoros was also a member of the OAU, the EDF, the World Bank, the IMF, the IOC, and the African Development Bank.
Comoros thus cultivated relations with various nations, both East and West, seeking to increase trade and obtain financial assistance. In 1994, however, it was increasingly facing the need to control its expenditures and reorganize its economy so that it would be viewed as a sounder recipient of investment. Comoros also confronted domestically the problem of the degree of democracy the government was prepared to grant to its citizens, a consideration that related to its standing in the world community.
Comoros also hosted an embassy of China, which established relations during the Soilih regime. The Chinese had long been a source of aid and apparently wished to maintain contact with Comoros to counterbalance Indian and Soviet (later Russian) influence in the Indian Ocean.
In August 2008, a Comorian delegation visited China on a good-will visit. Together with the Chinese defense minister Liang Guanglie, and Chief of Staff of the Comoros armed forces Salimou Mohamed Amiri, pledged to increase cooperation between the military of the two nations. Amiri stated that Comoros will continue to adhere to the One-China policy.
A comprehensive Chinese-assisted treatment campaign has apparently eliminated malaria from the Comorian island of Moheli (population 36,000). Administered by Li Guoqiao at the Tropical Medicine Institute, the program relies on hybrid Artemisia annua of hybrid ancestry, which was used for a drug regimen by which all residents of the island, whether or not visibly ill, took two doses at a 40-day interval. This eliminated the human reservoir of the disease and reduced hospital admissions to 1% or less of January 2008 levels. Visitors to Moheli are now required to take antimalarial drugs, a mix of artemisinin, primaquine and pyrimethamine that China provides for free. When asked about Artemisia exports, Li was quoted, "We want to grow them in China and whatever we export depends on bilateral relationships." Comoros has requested a similar program for Grande Comore and Anjouan, total population 760,000, and Li said that Beijing has agreed in principle.
Comoros' most significant international relationship is that with France. The three years of estrangement following the unilateral declaration of independence and the nationalistic Soilih regime were followed during the conservative Abdallah and Djohar regimes by a period of growing trade, aid, cultural, and defense links between the former colony and France, punctuated by frequent visits to Paris by the head of state and occasional visits by the French president to Moroni. The leading military power in the region, France has detachments on Mahoré and Réunion, and its Indian Ocean fleet sails the waters around the islands. France and Comoros signed a mutual security treaty in 1978; following the mercenary coup against Abdallah in 1989, French troops restored order and took responsibility for reorganizing and training the Comorian army. With Mahoré continuing to gravitate politically and economically toward France, and Comoros increasingly dependent on the French for help with its own considerable social, political, and economic problems, the issue of Mahoré diminished somewhat in urgency.
The close relationship Comoros developed with South Africa in the 1980s was much less significant to both countries in the 1990s. With the reform of its apartheid government, South Africa no longer needed Comoros as evidence of its ostensible ability to enjoy good relations with a black African state; the end of the Cold War had also diminished Comoros' strategic value to Pretoria. Although South Africa continued to provide developmental aid, it closed its consulate in Moroni in 1992. Since the 1989 coup and subsequent expulsion of South African-financed mercenaries, Comoros likewise turned away from South Africa and toward France for assistance with its security needs.
Embassy of Comoros in Egypt is accredited to Turkey. Embassy of Turkey in Kenya is accredited to Comoros.
The United States established diplomatic relations in 1977 but in September 1993 closed its embassy in Moroni. Presently, The United States Ambassador in Madagascar is also accredited to Comoros. The two countries enjoy friendly relations. The historic under-commitment by the US within France's sphere of interest in the Indian Ocean looks set to continue after a November 2009 meeting between heads of state. Future friendly relations continue to look promising between the Comoros and America.
- List of diplomatic missions in Comoros
- List of diplomatic missions of Comoros
- Comoros-United States relations
- Ercolano, Vincent. "Foreign Affairs". A country study: Comoros (Helen Chapin Metz, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (August 1994). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Chinese defense minister meets Comoros army chief", China View. 2008-10-21.
- Africa: Ending Malaria in Sight? AfricaFocus Bulletin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2009-11-30.
- David Lague (2007-06-05). "On island off Africa, China tries to wipe out malaria". New York Times.
- "Georgia and the Union of the Comoros established diplomatic relations" georgiandaily.com 2010-03-26 Link retrieved 2010-03-27
-  The Comoros Islands and President Sambi – Could Change Finally have Arrived? November 7, 2010.
- Yemen, Comoros sign agricultural MOU. April 26, 2008.