The administrative head of the French Territory of Afars and Issas Ali Afef was in France, on Tuesday (30 December) for talks with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing on the east African territory's independence.
MV Ali Aref arrives at Elysee palace and enters.
MV Ali Aref leaving Elysee Palace.
CU News conference.
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Background: The administrative head of the French Territory of Afars and Issas Ali Afef was in France, on Tuesday (30 December) for talks with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing on the east African territory's independence.
Leaving the Elysee Palace in Paris after the talks, Mr. Aref told newsmen that he and President D'Estaing had discussed major problems regarding the territory's political future, particularly its independence.
He did not say when independence negotiations would formally start but confirmed that President Giscard D'Estaing had agreed that talks would be held.
He said his people wanted independence but with a continued French military presence.
He said he expected the French cabinet to discuss the matter on Wednesday (31 December) and issue a special communique.
Before flying home on Tuesday night Mr. Aref also had talks with French Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac and the Secretary of Sate for Overseas Territories, Olivier Stirn.
Mr. Aref is expected to return to Paris again early in January.
SYNOPSIS: The administrative head of the French Territory of Afars and Issas, Ali Aref, arrived at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday for talks with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing.
The main purpose of the talks was to discuss independence of the east African territory.
The majority of the people in the French Territory of Afars and Issas want independence --- but also want continued French military presence if it is granted. Mr. Aref spoke to newsmen after the talks.
He said he had made it quite clear to President Giscard D'Estaing that his country wanted unconditional independence and had asked France for an economic and military guarantee.
He said his people also wanted a guarantee from the Organisation of African Unity that the frontiers of the territory - particularly those with neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia - would be respected.
Mr. Aref did not say when formal independence negotiations would start but hoped the French cabinet would name a date soon.
Before flying home Mr. Aref also had talks with French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac.