A high-ranking delegation from Portuguese Guinea - recently recognised by the United Nations as the independent state of Guinea-Bissau -- arrived in London on Saturday (25 May) for talks with representatives of the new Government of Portugal.
A high-ranking delegation from Portuguese Guinea - recently recognised by the United Nations as the independent state of Guinea-Bissau -- arrived in London on Saturday (25 May) for talks with representatives of the new Government of Portugal. The aim of the talks will be to end the war in Guinea-Bissau between the Portuguese and the African Nationalist guerillas, which has lasted thirteen years.
The Portuguese delegation was led by Dr. Mario Soares, the Socialist leader who was appointed Foreign Minister by the military Junta which recently took over the Government of Portugal. Dr. Soares has said that he hoped to reach a ceasefire agreement for Guinea-Bissau by next Monday (27th May), and that he was prepared to stay on in London if necessary.
The leader of the military Junta in Lisbon, President Antonio de Spinola, who came to power following a coup by the armed forces in Portugal exactly a month ago, has pledged to respect the right to self-determination of the peoples of Portuguese Guinea, Mozambique and Angola.
The delegation from the rebel Government of Guinea-Bissau, which is already recognised by more than half the members of the United Nations, was led by Major Pedro Pires. He is a member of the ruling executive committee of the rebel government and the Deputy Minister for the armed forces. When he arrived at the London hotel, where the first talks were held, he refused to con???ont to the waiting newsmen.
Other military men were among the Guinea-Bissau delegation, which is seen by most diplomatic observes as representing a "government" rather than the rebel P.A.I.G.C. -- the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands.
Policemen from Scotland Yard and Portuguese security men made a thorough check of the hotel and its conference rooms, before the two delegations arrived.