President Sekou Toure of Guniea has arrived in the Ivory Coast for his first state visit since the two countries patched up their differences and resumed relations almost a year ago.
President Sekou Toure of Guniea has arrived in the Ivory Coast for his first state visit since the two countries patched up their differences and resumed relations almost a year ago. The visit follows the famous mini-summit in the Liberian Capital of Monrovia at the beginning of last year when relations between Senegal, Guinea and the Ivory Coast were renewed.
SYNOPSIS: As President Sekou Toure's plane prepared to land, the airport at Yamoussokro filled with spectators eager to see this further proof of the reconciliation. President Toure's visit follows that of French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who has visited both countries in the past three months. The crowds at the airport were determined to make the Guinean leader welcome.
President Toure arrived with a delegation of thirty people... including Prime Minister Lansana Beavogui. He was due to spend three days with the President of the Ivory Coast Felix Houphouet - Boigny, discussing world affairs and relations between their countries. They were also scheduled to talk about problems affecting African Unity.
President Toure's visit confirms his country's return into the French orbit after twenty years of bitter estrangement. This will bring welcome returns for France as Guinea has almost half the world's bauxite deposits under its soil, bauxite which has been going to the Soviet Union in return for development aid. Renewed alliance with France means the end of facilities in Guinea for Russian military and naval bases.
The patching up of differences between Guinea and the Ivory Coast is close to the heart of Liberian President William Tolbert. Twelve months ago, he appealed to fellow West African leaders never to let conflict and tension become barriers to achievement. Guinea had accused both Senegal and the Ivory Coast of harbouring Guinean exiles dedicated to overthrowing President Toure. Now this official state visit conveys that their differences are finally resolved.