President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has been paying the first visit by a French Head of State to the Landlocked west African country of Mali since it became independent from France in 1960.
GV Motorcade accompanying President Giscard arriving for wreath laying ceremony
SV Mali war veterans lining route to memorial
SV PAN President Giscard and Mali President Moussa Traore lay wreaths
SV PAN DOWN FROM Memorial TO Giscard standing at attention before memorial (3 shots)
President Giscard d'Estaing told a press conference at the end of his official visit on Tuesday (15 February) that talks on the renewal of monetary agreements between the two countries would be held next month.
Under the arrangement France guarantees the free convertibility of the Malian franc. Since 1968 the monetary backing has been valued at almost a billion francs. The French President also said that France would continue to meet part of its former colony's budget deficit.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has been paying the first visit by a French Head of State to the Landlocked west African country of Mali since it became independent from France in 1960. During his two day visit President Giscard indicated that money agreements between Mali and France that are due to expire in May would be renewed. Mali is one of the five poorest countries in the world.
SYNOPSIS: President Giscard d'Estaing accompanied by motorcycle escort also visited the monument in the capital Bamako to the malian soldiers who died fighting for France in two world wars.
Bemedalled Malian veterans from the second world war lined the president's route to the memorial.
President Giscard and president Moussa Traore of mali then laid wreaths for the dead. One of the subjects the two men discussed during the visit was the sale of French weapons to the white minority regime in South Africa. The French leader said he had taken all necessary measures to make sure that no further supplies could take place.
M. Giscard d'Estaing added that his position on major issues in southern Africa was identical to that of the malian leader. The French President called the South African policy of apartheid an affront to man's dignity.