Libyan Head of State, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, arrived unexpectedly in Geneva on Friday (January 26) and had a one and a half hour meeting with President Bourguiba of Tunisia.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 25, 1974) (REUTERS)
GV Pan Building where meeting taking place
SV Flag flying on building tilt down to pressmen outside
SV Pan INT. Gaddafi and Bourguiba seated
SV Bourguiba bidding farewell to Libyans
SV Pan Gaddafi leavilng building
SV Flag Gaddafi leaving building
SV PAN Gaddafi in car leaving
Initials SC/337 SC/352
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Background: Libyan Head of State, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, arrived unexpectedly in Geneva on Friday (January 26) and had a one and a half hour meeting with President Bourguiba of Tunisia. The two leaders agreed on January the 12th to merge their countries into The Islamic Arab Republic, but a Tunisian referendum to confirm the merger has been delayed.
Colonel Gaddafi, who arrived by special aircraft, visited President Bourguiba at the Tunisian ambassador's residence. The seventy-year old President is in Geneva for health reasons. The meeting lasted one and a half hours, but Colonel Gaddafi hurried past the gathered pressmen and a Tunisian official would only say it was 'a meeting between friends'.
Since the announcement of the merger, Tunisia has been cautious about taking what the Prime Minister, Mr. Hedi Nouira, has described as a 'leap into the unknown.' The main architect of the m erger, Foreign Minister Mohamed Masmoudi, has been sacked, it is believed, for trying to push ahead too fast with the merger.