The Congo's head of state, President Joachim Yhombi Opango, began two days of talks with French leaders in Paris on Thursday (23 June).
The Congo's head of state, President Joachim Yhombi Opango, began two days of talks with French leaders in Paris on Thursday (23 June). It was his first trip abroad since he assumed power in March following the assassination of President Marien Ngouabi.
SYNOPSIS: President Opango met France's Prime Minister, Raymond Barre, for talks on further co-operation. Almost 80 percent of his country's economy is in foreign hands and the Congo is dependent on French aid. France is also by far the largest supplier of imports to the Congo.
President Opango and M. Barre spent 45 minutes together and after the talks M. Barre said he was pleased President Opango had chosen France for his first overseas trip. He said the Congolese leader was keen to build up his country's economy and that France was prepared to study all the way it could help.
On Friday (24 June) President Opango went to the Elysee Palace for talks with President Valery Giscard D'Estaing. France has indicated its willingness to send a study mission to the Congo to assess ways of easing the country's financial deficit. The French also want to help develop the Congo's agriculture. The two countries reached agreement in another field of co-operation recently -- the exploitation of the Congo's potash and petroleum resources.