Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and Ethiopian Military leader Mengistu Haile Mariam have concluded two days of talks which they say will stimulate cooperation between their two countries.
GV INTERIOR Haile Mariam Mengistu, Chairman of Provisional Military Administrative Council of Socialist Ethiopia being greeted by Soviet President Leonid brezhnev and being introduced to Soviet officials, in Moscow, USSR. (2 SHOTS)
SV Leaders posing for photograph PAN TO officials.
SV President Brezhnev being seated at conference table.
SV Colonel Mengistu seated with aides at conference table.
GV & SV Delegations seated around conference table. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV Colonel Mengistu presenting President Brezhnev with Ethiopian decoration, Star of Honour.
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Background: Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and Ethiopian Military leader Mengistu Haile Mariam have concluded two days of talks which they say will stimulate cooperation between their two countries. Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu arrived in Moscow on an official visit on Monday (27 October) and was met at the airport by President Brezhnev, Prime Minister Nikolai Tikhonov and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
SYNOPSIS: The Ethiopian leader's last visit to the Soviet Union was in November 1978 and on that occasion the two countries signed a twenty-year friendship treaty providing for economic, political and military cooperation. Ethiopia also has observer status in Comecon, the Soviet-bloc economic grouping. The Soviet Union has been a major supplier of arms to Ethiopia since the 1977-78 war with Somalia when Addis Ababa re-established control of the disputed Ogaden desert region.
Few details of the talks were released, but with Ethiopia still troubled by Somali-backed nationalist guerrillas in the Ogaden and a secessionist movement in the Eritrea region, Colonel Mengistu was expected to raise the question of further arms deliveries, On the economic front, official reports said Soviet specialists would begin prospecting for oil and gas in Ethiopia next year, and would help in the mechanisation of gold mining and in agriculture.
Later on Monday (27 October) the Ethiopian leader presented President Brezhnev with his country's highest award, The Star of Honour of Socialist Ethiopia. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Brezhnev said the Soviet Union was not aiming for special rights and privileges in Africa, but wished to promote peace, accord and freedom. At a banquet in Mr. Mengistu's honour the same evening (27 October) the Soviet President accused the United States of seeking to gain military superiority in Eastern Africa.