In Paris the 71-year-old President of the Ivory Coast, Monsieur Felix Houphouet-Boigny had talks on Thursday (18 November) with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing.
GV Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Biogny leaving Elysee Palais and shaking hands with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing
CU Houphouet-Biogny speaking (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Paris the 71-year-old President of the Ivory Coast, Monsieur Felix Houphouet-Boigny had talks on Thursday (18 November) with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing. Their discussions mostly centred around African problems.
SYNOPSIS: The two Presidents met for an hour at the Elysee Palace. M. Houphouet-Boigny then talked to newsmen. He said that he hoped the constitutional talks on Rhodesia in Geneva would avoid wide-scale bloodshed in the white-ruled territory. "The Ivory Coast supports a settlement of all differences through dialogue, and we hope the Geneva talks will avoid a bloodbath, the consequences of which would be frightful" he said. He expressed the fear that if the Rhodesian situation did not improve, other countries might intervene by supplying arms or advisers, or by sending troops, as in Angola. The Ivory Coast leader also deplored Soviet intervention in Angola. He aid he had appealed to European nations last May to become aware of the danger which threatened Africa, And he added that the fate of the African continent was linked with Europe, whether Europe, whether Europe liked it or not.
The Ivory Coast Head of State had been on a private visit to Paris since Sunday (14 November). His son had been injured in a road accident and was recovering in a Paris hospital. France has strong links with the Ivory Coast. It is its main trading partner, and there is still a considerable French presence there, including a French navy and air force base. President Houphouet-Boigny has aroused controversy with his advocacy of dialogue with South Africa. He states that there are only two alternatives in relations with South Africa and they are negotiations -- or war. He questions whether any African states would seriously consider waging war against South Africa.
The pro-Western Ivory Coast was among the last African states to recognize the government of the Popular Liberation Movement in Angola.