The President of France, Mr. Valery Giscard D'Estaing, continued his five day state visit to?
The President of France, Mr. Valery Giscard D'Estaing, continued his five day state visit to the Ivory Coast on Friday (13 January) with, a stop over a Yamoussoukro, the birthplace of Ivory Coast President, Mr. Felix Houphouet-Boigny. While he was there the French President attended several ceremonies and had further talks with his Ivory Coast host.
SYNOPSIS: The small town of Yamoussoukro is a traditional place for President Houphouet-Boigny to take guests and there was a traditional welcome on hand for the French President when he arrived.
Mr. Houphouet-Boigny himself met the French President's Fokker jet at Yamoussoukro's airport.
Despite the fact that the two leaders had spent much of the previous two days together, there were the usual welcoming ceremonies before the two went on to review the airport guard of honour.
Their wives watched on while they did so. Mr. Giscard D'Estaing's visit is one of the longest ever made by a French President to a foreign country, and is regarded by observers as a sign of the importance he attaches to the African continent.
This was shown in the talks that later took place. High on the agenda was the political future of Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa where Ethiopia is fighting Somalia over the Ogaden Desert. The two Presidents agreed that the conflict should be solved by Africans themselves, not by outside powers, such as the Soviet Union which is supplying Ethiopia with arms.
But before the talks got underway, President Giscard D'Estaing visited Yamoussoukro's Town Hall.
There the French leader was given the freedom of the town when the mayor presented him with Yamoussoukro's ceremonial keys. President Giscard D'Estaing had received a similar honour in the Ivory Coast capital.