The President of the Malagasy Republic, Monsieur Didier Ratsiraka, met the French President, Monsieur Valery Giscard d'Estaing, on Wednesday (2 June) and condemned the French sale of nuclear power plant to South Africa.
GV & SV EXTERIOR Guard of honour outside Elysee Palace with Malagasy President Didier Ratsuiraka greeted by officials and French President Giscard d'Estaing (2 shots)
GV President Ratsiraka leaving Elysee Palace ZOOM INTO President Ratsiraka speaking to journalists
Initials CL/1850 CL/1900
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Background: The President of the Malagasy Republic, Monsieur Didier Ratsiraka, met the French President, Monsieur Valery Giscard d'Estaing, on Wednesday (2 June) and condemned the French sale of nuclear power plant to South Africa.
President Ratsiraka had talks lasting over an hour with the French President at the Elysee Palace and afterwards told journalists that the Franco-South African deal announced last week heralded the possible use of atomic weapons in southern Africa.
The Malagasy President said that the big powers should keep out of the Indian Ocean. President Ratsiraka said that if South Africa succeeded in building a nuclear bomb -- and the conflict over Rhodesia spread to South Africa and Namibia (south West Africa) -- he feared his country would be in the front line.
President Ratsiraka was reported as saying that regrettably a wider conflict was unavoidable, adding .. "I would much prefer the fight to be conducted with swords rather than atomic weapons".
The Malagasy President declared that his government believed a big power balance in the Indian Ocean should be a neutral balance -- with no big power presence there at all.
There was no immediate response from the French Government over the Malagasy president's condemnation of the sale of nuclear reactors to South Africa. However, according to Reuters quoting un-named French Government officials, France anticipated strong criticism of the deal and was prepared to face it. Earlier France dismissed other protests, saying it was nonsense to claim the agreement amounted to the sale of nuclear weapons.
The day before the Malagasy President's attack, the Organisation of African Unity (O.A.U.) said that France owed black African countries an explanation for the deal. In a statement, the O.A.U. said that it was hard to believe and understand the French motives for the agreement.
SYNOPSIS: Paris, where on Wednesday there were fresh protests over the deal to sell French nuclear power plant to South Africa. the latest attack on the agreement came from the President of the Malagasy Republic, Monsieur Didier Ratsiraka, in talks at the Elysee Palace with French President, Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
President Ratsiraka had talks lasting over an hour with the French President. Most of their discussions were devoted to the Franco-South African nuclear deal. According to the Organisation of African Unity, the French decision has bewildered many black African nations.
After the meeting, the Malagasy President said the nuclear power plant sale raised the possibility of atomic weapons being used in southern Africa. President Ratsiraka said if South Africa succeeded in building a nuclear bomb, then the Malagasy Republic would be in the front line. He argued that the Rhodesian conflict would spread to South Africa and Namibia -- South West Africa -- threatening his own nation.