Benin’s foreign minister on Wednesday worked to reassure the nation that President Patrice Talon was healthy, despite mounting speculation about the cause of his week-long stay in France.
“He is staying in Paris and he is taking advantage of his stay to do a health check,” Aurelien Agbenonci told journalists.
Talon’s absence has been a hot topic in the tiny West African nation for several days. On Tuesday, Agbenonci denied that 59-year-old Talon was ill.
“The president of the republic did not leave Cotonou hastily, he is not ill and is well,” Agbenonci said.
According to other sources speaking on condition of anonymity, Talon should return to Benin “before the end of the week”.
Talon did not appear at the latest Economic Community of West African States summit held in Liberia on June 4 or at a cabinet meeting of his senior ministers on May 31.
His last official visit was in late May in India where he attended the annual meeting of the African Development Bank.