The President Sekou Toure of Guinea arrived in Senegal on Wednesday (24 October) for his first visit to that country in sixteen years.
The President Sekou Toure of Guinea arrived in Senegal on Wednesday (24 October) for his first visit to that country in sixteen years. The visit marked a reconciliation between the two countries after many years of strained, sometimes stormy relations.
SYNOPSIS: President Toure was greeted by Senegal's President Leopold Senghor as he stepped from the aircraft at Dakar Yoff airport. Senegal broke off diplomatic relations with its southern neighbour in 1973. They were restored in May last year (1978). The visiting Presidents was given a twenty-one gun salute.
Guinea and Senegal moved apart at the end of the French Colonial period. Guinea, independent in 1958, declined French aid. Senegal, independent two years later, chose to retain her French ties.
President Senghor accompanied his guest to the War monument where President Toure laid a wreath.
In his arrival speech President Toure said his visit would bury the past differences between the two countries for good, and invited President Senghor to return the visit. Observers feel that one of the results of this visit could be the inclusion of Guinea in a scheme with Senegal and Gambia to harness the waters of the River Gambia.
The two Presidents had their first round if talks later in the day (24 October). Another topic they were expected to discuss was the security of the region. President Senghor was expected to sound out the views of the Guinea President on a West African Defence Pact that would involve the sixteen countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).