A delegation of African nationalists fighting for the independence of Guinea Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands arrived in Algiers on Wednesday (12 June) to re-open negotiations with the new Portuguese Government.
GV PAIGC spokesman Major Pedro Pires down steps of aircraft and greeted
GV Pries greeted by Algerian officials and walking across tarmac
SCU Pires speaking in French
"Nous, pour notre...
...les memes principes."
Initials BB/0023 RS/AH/BB/0038
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Background: A delegation of African nationalists fighting for the independence of Guinea Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands arrived in Algiers on Wednesday (12 June) to re-open negotiations with the new Portuguese Government.
The delegation is led by Major Pedro Pires, deputy Armed Forces Commissioner of PAIGC -- the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Hissau and Cape Verde Islands.
The talks aimed at ending 11 years of bitter guerrilla war in Guinea-Bissau, the territory the Portuguese call Portuguese Guinea, opened in London on May 25 and were due to resume there. The transfer to Algiers was at the request of the PAIGC delegation.
Major Pedro Pires told newsmen at Algiers airport: "Self - determination is tantamount to independence". Portuguese President Antonio de Spinola has offered the Portuguese African Territories self-determination.
The talks with Portuguese Foreign Minister Mario Soares resumed on Thursday evening (13 June) in a discreet Government guest house overlooking the Bay of Algiers.
The Portuguese Government postponed the talks, it is believed, to allow the Cabinet to assess nationalist demands.
Reports have said that initially the Portuguese hoped to restrict their first round of talks to arranging a ceasefire. But PAIGC are believed to have insisted that the Portuguese recognise their right to independence as part of the overall ceasefire agreement.