President Valery Giscard D'Estaing has been in Yugoslavia on the first official visit by a French leader since the nation came under communist rule after World War Two.
GV: motorcade arriving at president Tito's official residence in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
GV: guard of honour
SV PAN: French President Giscard and wife walk forward and greeted by Tito and wife. (3 shots)
SV PAN AND MVS: Giscard and Tito walks forward and stand for French and Yugoslavian National anthems. (7 shots)
SV PAN AND MV: Giscard and Tito walk on and inspect guard of honour. (2 shots)
SV: Tito introduced to French officials.
SVS: Giscard introduced to Yugoslav officials. (4 shots)
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Background: President Valery Giscard D'Estaing has been in Yugoslavia on the first official visit by a French leader since the nation came under communist rule after World War Two.
SYNOPSIS: The visit was originally scheduled for September, but was postponed because the 84-year-old Yugoslav leader was suffering from an acute liver ailment. President Giscard was accompanied by his wife, the Foreign Minister Louis de Guiringaud, and the Trade Minister Andre Rossi. Madame Tito was present at the welcoming ceremonies.
In his first public statement at the beginning of his visit on Monday (6 December) President Giscard D'Estaing described the independence of Yugoslavia as an essential factor in the peace and stability of Europe. He also made it clear that France wanted Yugoslavia to continue on its present non-aligned course. After being greeted outside the Yugoslav leaders's official residence in belgrade, he said: 'France has consideration for a nation whose firm resolution has never been beaten.
This early and pointed reference to the importance of Yugoslavia's continued independence was likely to be welcomed by Yugoslav authorities, according to news agency reports from Belgrade, who are conscious of current speculation about the future of their nation. Western analysts, according to the same reports, are pondering Yugoslavia's chances of retaining its rigid non-aligned position after the elderly President Tito departs the political scene.
Marshal Tito made no immediate reply to Monsieur Giscard's remarks. The French President's visit follows a similar call last month by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who publicly assured Marshal Tito that the Soviet Union was not a bid, had wolf waiting to devour the Yugoslav Little Red Riding Hood. Shortly after the ceremony outside the Yugoslav leader's residence. the two Presidents began the first of three scheduled official talks before going on to a banquet in honour of Monsieur and Madame Giscard.
President Giscard's visit with his Foreign and Trade Ministers comes at a time when Yugoslavia is concerned about its massive trade deficits - with France in particular and the European Economic Community s a whole. The deficit with France last year topped 260 million U.S. dollars, and with the entire Common Market it was more than two and a half billion. The French and Yugoslav leaders were due to discuss a resolution, drawn up only days earlier, between the Common Market and Yugoslavia.
The declaration of intent to improve economic co-operation between the two sides was signed by the Chairman of the Common Market Council of Minister, Dutch Foreign Minister Max Van der Stoel, and Yugoslav Premier Dzenal Bijedic. The three rounds of talks were also due to cover the Third World's desire for a new global economic order, which Yugoslavia champions as one of the recognised leaders of the non-aligned nations group. Other topics were due to include the results of the 1974 European Security conference in Helsinki, to be followed by a meeting in Belgrade next year.