The President of Benin, Mathieu Kerekou, arrived in Niamey, the capital of Niger, on Sunday (12 June) for talks with his Niger counterpart, Lieutenant-Colonel Seyni Kountche.
GV: Plane taxiing into airport
SV women spectators
SV ZOOM OUT President Kerekou down plane steps and greeted by President Kountche
SV Soldiers in guard of honour at attention
SV both presidents taking the salute
CU President Kountche
CU President Kountche
CU Rifle ZOOM OUT TO armed guard
SV Kerekou being presented to officials
CU ZOOM OUT TO GV stilt dancers and crowd watching
CU Kerekou passing in open car with President Kountche and car driving into presidential palace
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Background: The President of Benin, Mathieu Kerekou, arrived in Niamey, the capital of Niger, on Sunday (12 June) for talks with his Niger counterpart, Lieutenant-Colonel Seyni Kountche.
SYNOPSIS: The Benin President received a full official welcome when he arrived at Niamey airport and he was met by President Kountche. The main purpose of the talks was to encourage more mutual co-operation between the two countries. Both men are convinced that many future prospects rely on how closely they can work together. A Benin-Niger joint organisation has already been established and the leaders were to discuss what measures could be taken to improve its efficiency.
Both countries have few transportation links and one of their main aims at present is to extend the Parakou rial link in North Benin to Niamey and to improve existing links. Much of Niger's petroleum products come through Benin's port of Cotonou. There have been problems with this recently as the storage facilities at the port are limited.
Both presidents have said they are convinced of the need for all African states to join together to eliminate colonialism and racial discrimination on the continent. They have also deplored what they term the selfishness of the industrialised countries in the search for a new economic structure.
President Kerekou has been trying to establish an independent, socialist economy for Benin. But this conflicts with the country's large dependence on foreign aid, although large sectors of the economy have now been taken under state control. France still provides most of Benin's capital outlay and also subsidises the current budget. Benin and Niger and expected to present a united front at the next summit meeting of non-aligned countries later this year.