• Short Summary

    THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT TODAY (THURSDAY) REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE WITH A CONGOLESE GOVERNMENT DELEGATION OVER MINING CONCESSIONS IN ITS FORMER AFRICAN COLONY.

  • Description

    THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT TODAY (THURSDAY) REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE WITH A CONGOLESE GOVERNMENT DELEGATION OVER MINING CONCESSIONS IN ITS FORMER AFRICAN COLONY. A FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN IN BRUSSELS SAID THE TALKS HAD BEEN CALLED OFF BECAUSE THE CONGOLESE DELEGATION, COMPOSED OF OFFICIALS AND EXPERTS, LACKED COMPETENCE TO NEGOTIATE THE POLITICAL ISSUES INVOLVED.

    THE DECISION TO REFUSE TO RECEIVE THE DELEGATION WAS MADE BY M. SPAAK, BELGIUM'S FOREIGN MINISTER. ORIGINALLY, MR. TSHOMBE, THE CONGOLESE PRIME MINISTER, WAS TO HAVE LED THE DELEGATION, BUT THE PRESENCE OF THE FORMER CONGOLESE PREMIER, MR. ADOULA, IN THE BELGIAN CAPITAL LED HIM TO CANCEL HIS OWN VISIT.

    THE AIM OF THE CONGOLESE DELEGATION WAS TO SECURE ALL THE SHARES IN THREE BELGIAN MINING COMPANIES. LAST YEAR, THE CONGO AND BELGIUM AGREED ON A FORMULA TO ALLOW TRANSFER OF CONTROL OF THE COMPANIES TO PASS INTO CONGOLESE HANDS.

    AT THAT TIME IT HAD BEEN AGREED THAT TWO-THIRDS OF THE SHARES, WORTH ABOUT GBP200 MILLION IN 1959, WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO THE LEOPOLDVILLE GOVERNMENT ALONG WITH A SETTLEMENT OF THE CONGOLESE PUBLIC DEBT TO BELGIUM, AMOUNTING TO GBP900 MILLION. HOWEVER, RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO GOVERNMENTS WORSENED LATE LAST YEAR WHEN THE CONGOLESE GOVERNMENT CANCELLED BELGIAN COMPANIES' RIGHTS TO GRANT MINING AND LAND CONCESSIONS.

    SINCE THEN THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT HAS REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE ON THE SHARE TRANSFER, CLAIMING THAT THE CONGOLESE UNILATERAL ACTION HAD SHIFTED THE PROBLEM FROM THE ECONOMIC TO THE POLITICAL SPHERE. BELGIUM NOW MAINTAINS THAT THERE CAN BE NO SETTLEMENT OF THE SHARES PROBLEM UNTIL THE POLITICAL ISSUE IS SOLVED BY MINISTERIAL NEGOTIATION.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA41951X940GUG70IXNFAM6THJK
    Media URN:
    VLVA41951X940GUG70IXNFAM6THJK
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/01/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:00:45:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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