The two co-presidents of the Comoro Islands have met (19 September) President Valery Giscard D'Estaing of France, and afterwards declared that relations between the two countries have been restored to normal.
The two co-presidents of the Comoro Islands have met (19 September) President Valery Giscard D'Estaing of France, and afterwards declared that relations between the two countries have been restored to normal. President Ahmed Abdallah and President Mohammed Ahmed came to power on the Indian Island archipelago in a coup against President Ali Soilih in May. It was the fifth coup since the islands unilaterally declared independence from France in July, 1975.
SYNOPSIS: In the three years of independence from France, relations between the Comoro Islands and the Elysee Palace have been strained. Now, the new regime headed by two co-presidents has successfully sought to restore diplomatic relations. They had been helped to overthrow President Soilih by a French soldier of Fortune Colonel Bob Denard.
President Ahmed Abdallah sports a brightly coloured sash, and President Mohammed Ahmed is a former Comoro delegate to the French Assembly. They said after their hour-long meeting that from then on, normal relations existed between France and the Comoro Islands. They showed a willingness to set aside for the moment the question of Mayotte Island, an issue which has tended to sour relations between the two countries. Mayotte was the only island which decided in a referendum to remain French after independence.
The improvement in relations was publicly recognised by the provision of a guard of honour for the two presidents. President Abdallah said the talks covered the broad aspect of relations with France, and Mayotte was not especially discussed.