INTRODUCTION: President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast on Thursday (9 July) became the first black African leader to visit Francois Mitterrand since his election as French President in May.
SV President Mitterrand with President Houphouet-Boigny outside Elysee Palace
CU Houphouet- Boigny speaking to newsmen in French
GV Newsmen around Presidents
CU Mitterrand shakes hands with Houphouet-Boigny and Houphouet-Boigny walks down steps to car
GV FROM French band playing TO Houphouet-Boigny leaving in car
Background: INTRODUCTION: President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast on Thursday (9 July) became the first black African leader to visit Francois Mitterrand since his election as French President in May. The visit was seen as important because of traditional links between France and French-speaking African states, particularly the Ivory Coast.
SYNOPSIS: The two men have known each other for almost 30 years. And during their first presidential encounter at the Elysee Palace a friendly atmosphere prevailed.
President Houphouet-Boigny said President Mitterrand had honoured his country in two ways -- first by inviting him as president, and second, by making his visit the first by a black African leader since Mr. Mitterrand's election.
President Houphouet-Boigny told newsmen the visit represented the continuation of an ancient friendship. Developed countries of the West and the developing countries of the third world needed to talk to one another in a constructive way without harmful disagreement, and with wisdom and realism and respect for each other's independence.
As talks between the two men began economic issues were expected to dominate discussions. The economy of the Ivory Coast is heavily dependent on cocoa production and a drop in international prices has led to a sharp fall in revenues. Although oil production is rising, it is not expected to displace cocoa as the country's main money earner until 1985.
On the political side, the two men were expected to discuss important African issues, notably the presence of Libyan troops in Chad.