Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah was in Paris on Wednesday (8 February) for talks with the French Head of State, President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah was in Paris on Wednesday (8 February) for talks with the French Head of State, President Valery Giscard d'Estaing. France at present provides air support for Mauritanian troops battling against Algerian - backed Polisario guerrillas, who want in independent Western Sahara. The Mauritanian leader flew into Paris after spending nine days in the Belgian capital of Brussels.
SYNOPSIS: The talks were held at the Elysee Palace.
President Ould Daddah had earlier been welcomed by French Co-operation Minister Robert Galley.
The two presidents met over lunch, and their talks lasted for about two hours. In Brussels, where President Ould Daddah met Common Market Commission President, Roy Jenkins, the emphasis had been on trade and aid. With President Giscard, French military support took priority.
The two leaders discussed the position in the Western Sahara, the former Spanish colony ceded to Mauritania two years ago. President Ould Daddah was anxious to retain French support against the Polisario Front guerrillas.
After the talks, the Mauritanian President told newsmen that his country would go on needing French backing as long as it had to meet "Algerian aggression". "If Algeria Continues to attack us" he said, we will go on having, to ask for more aid to resist, because we cannot do it by ourselves." The President has accused Algerian troops in Polisario uniforms of launching attacks on the region, where the territory's iron one mines are located.