President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast said in Brussels on Friday (6 May) that he was against third world demands for a delay in repaying their debts to the industrialised countries.
President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast said in Brussels on Friday (6 May) that he was against third world demands for a delay in repaying their debts to the industrialised countries. His statement came at the end of a three-day meeting with the European Economic Community Commission in the Belgian capital.
SYNOPSIS: The talks, held at Commission headquarters, were aimed at renewing closer ties between Europe and Africa. During the meeting with EEC Commission President Roy Jenkins of Britain, President Houphouet-Boigny said the East-West conflict was essentially an economic one, and Europe needed Africa's raw materials to ensure its own economic well-being.
The Ivory Coast President also called for greater links between Belgium and the Ivory Coast. He said trade between the two countries symbolised the desire to cooperate and work together. Cocoa was among the products discussed - the Ivory Coast is a major produder.
But President Houphouet-Boigny ended the visit by reaffirming his criticism of third world demands for a delay on their debt. The issue is one of the main stumbling blocks at the so-called north-south dialogue in Paris, France, between rich and poor nations. "If we ask for a moratorium on debts," he said, "no one will have confidence in us, no one will make loans to us". Instead, he called for cheaper interest rates and longer repayment periods. Meanwhile, Common Market Foreign Minister agreed on Wednesday (4 May) to finance developing countries with 375 million dollars.