Colonel Muammer Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, arrived in Paris on Friday (23 November) on his first visit to a Western European capital, for talks he requested with President Georges Pompidou on the Middle East.
SV Col. Gaddafi in building, introduced to French officials
CU PAN Col. Gaddafi and French officials
CU PAN Col. Gaddafi and M. Messmer through door
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Background: Colonel Muammer Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, arrived in Paris on Friday (23 November) on his first visit to a Western European capital, for talks he requested with President Georges Pompidou on the Middle East.
Prime Minister Pierre Messmer greeted Colonel Gaddafi at Orly Airport, where the Libyan leader was accorded full military honours, although his visit was described as private.
Colonel Gaddafi flew into Paris from Yugoslavia, where he promised Marshal Tito that Libya would supply his country with two million tons of crude oil annually in exchange for the building of oil tankers.
Colonel Gaddafi arrived in Paris as Arab leaders gathered in Algiers for an Arab Summit called to assess the Middle East situation and the peace bargaining. The Libyan leader is boycotting the Summit.
Tight security was in force for his arrival in Paris. Police thronged the airport and the highway leading into Paris, to head off any demonstrations.
A group of pro-Israeli demonstrators protesting against the Gaddafi visit were dispersed the night before and one organisation has called for further demonstrations during the Libyan leaders visit, against what was termed the "hateful blackmail" of the Arab oil-producers.
Reports indicated that Colonel Gaddafi's visit was aimed at obtaining France's sophisticated combat aircraft -- the Mirage F-1 -- in exchange for oil.
On Saturday morning, French President Georges Pompidou met for two-and-a-half-hours with the Libyan leader, in their first set of talks at the Elysee Palace.