President Francois Tombalbaye of Chad held a meeting with French President Pompidou in Paris on Thursday (April 6).
President Francois Tombalbaye of Chad held a meeting with French President Pompidou in Paris on Thursday (April 6). The African Head of State personally headed a 20-man delegation to France so that, he stated before leaving Fort Lamy, his people could "rest assured that everything will be done to further our country's interests and our ties of friendship with France." President Pompidou himself visited Fort Lamy in January and pledged continuing French aid to Chad.
President Tombalbaye--who has recently announced that he is negotiating the resumption of normal relations with Libya--spoke to reporters after his meeting with the French President. An English translation of the interview, which was carried out in French, is to be found on the following commentary page.
SYNOPSIS: The Elysee Palace in Paris, where, on March sixth, President Pompidou received the President of Chad, Francois Tombalbaye. The African Head of State, who is personally heading a twenty-man delegation to discuss future relations between Chad and France, was returning the visit paid to Fort Lamy by the French President last January. During that visit, President Pompidou pledged continuing French aid to Chad.
After the meeting, President Tombalbaye told reporters: "Now we have the habi of coming to Paris--and when we are received at the Elysee we naturally discuss problems of interest to both countries, primarily cooperation. So we have spoken of cooperation, of the future, the past...of both countries. And, I outlined a series of chapters relating to the essential needs of my country. I leave the elysee satisfied with my talks with the President of the Republic."
To a reporter's question on the projected formation of an economic union of the Central African states, President Tombalbaye replied: "We have never opposed anything which means regrouping--but you must realise that a society needs to be healthy to survive; it is necessary for the divisions to be equal and for the associates' efforts to be completely untainted. At present we have two economic regroupment in Central Africa--UDAC to which we have belonged, and UAC now formed between the Republic of Zaire and Chad. If tomorrow a new project arises, paying close attention to the past and allowing a regroupment which would be of mutual benefit to all, Chad would not see any inconvenience in accepting it."
Just prior to his visit to France, President Tombalbaye announced that delegations from Chad and Libya were meeting in Niger--to discuss the normalisation of relations between the two countries--strained since Libya recognised the National Liberation Front of Chad.