Panama's Premier, General Omar Torrijos, had a brief meeting with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing in Paris on Tuesday (4 October).
Panama's Premier, General Omar Torrijos, had a brief meeting with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing in Paris on Tuesday (4 October). His stop in Paris was part of a European tour aimed at explaining the new Panama Canal treaty recently agreed between his country and the United States.
SYNOPSIS: General Torrijos met President Giscard d'Estaing at the Elysee Palace during a tour which takes him to Italy, West Germany, Great Britain, and Scandinavia.
His main message to the European canal users is that their interests are protected under the agreement -- which will give Panama control of the Canal by the year 2000.
General Torrijos is also concentrating on getting the agreement ratified by the United States Senate. It was largely his campaigning which resulted in the new terms. Most Panamanians supported him but not all groups are happy with the result. Some are disturbed by the so-called "neutrality" treaty -- attached to the main Canal treaty. This will allow the United States to intervene indefinitely to defend the Canal after the year 2000. They also object that there is no timetable for the withdrawal of the thousands of U.S. troops stationed in the Canal Zone.