French President Charles De Gaulle arrived in Nouakchott, the partly built capital of Mauritania, Dec 10.
French President Charles De Gaulle arrived in Nouakchott, the partly built capital of Mauritania, Dec 10. He had flown from Paris to St.Louis in Senegal and then to Mauritania with Senegalese Premier Mamadou Dia.
Premier Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania met President De Gaulle at the airport. Hundreds of mounted tribesmen had gathered to greet the French Head of State. After the official ceremony there was a 'mechoui' - traditional Arab feast of roast lamb in a tent.
From the airfield General De Gaulle drove into the city - still only a few buildings and streets - where he laid the city's 'foundation stone'. Eighteen months ago Nouakchott was strip of desert at a cross-roads.
During this ceremony President De Gaulle - who will preside at a meeting in St. Louis, Senegal, of the French Community - said; "Your people have taken in hand their own destiny. In the years to come there will probably be many changes in the institutions and in the relations between our two countries. But I am convinced that what will endure is that which we want to accomplish together."
In reply Premier Daddah said that it followed from the nature of things that the Islamic Republic of Mauritania should attain independence when the time came. It would thus probably assume among its neighbours the role of a connecting link, for which France would so generously have prepared it. He assured General De Gaulle that mauritania intended to realize its destiny in friendship with France.