The heads-of-state of Algeria, Libya and Niger met at the Algerian desert town of Ouargla for previously unannounced talks on Thursday (8 April).
The heads-of-state of Algeria, Libya and Niger met at the Algerian desert town of Ouargla for previously unannounced talks on Thursday (8 April). The President of Niger, Lieutenant Colonel Seyni Kountche, told newsmen on his arrival that his visit came within the framework of bilateral relations "based on the historical and geographical position".
But it became obvious from statements issued as the meeting progressed that the new alliance between Algeria and Libya had been precipitated by the confrontation over the Western Sahara between Algeria and Morocco and Mauritania -- the latter two having taken over administration of the territory from Spain.
President Kountche returned to Niamey at the end first session of talks, but Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi of Libya remained in Ouargla on Friday (9 April) for further talks with President Houari Boumedienne. The meeting at ouargla was their fourth in as many months. At previous meetings, they had pledged themselves to a mutual defence pact and announced long-range plans for the union of their two countries.
After the talks, Colonel Gaddafi said that Libya's recognition of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic proclaimed in the former Spanish Sahara was only a matter of formality. He said that Libya was one of the first countries to support the struggle of the Saharan people. He spoke to newsmen shortly before leaving for Tripoli.
A final communique which was issued simultaneously in Algiers, Tripoli and Niamey, said that the three heads-of-state expressed their support for the "free and sincere right to self-determination of the Saharan people without any outside intervention".
The Saharan Republic, which is supported by Algeria, was declared by the Polisario Front which opposes the Moroccan and Mauritanian take-over of the territory.
SYNOPSIS: President Houari Boumedienne of Algeria was the host on Thursday to the heads-of-state of Niger and Libya in the southern Algerian desert town of Ouargla. The first to arrive was President Seyni Kountche of Niger. The leaders were meeting for surprise talks, which President Kountche described as coming within the framework of bilateral relations.
Colonel Kountche said that Imperialism had created a dramatic situation in southern, central and western Africa, and called for African solutions to the problems.
But as the meeting between the three leaders progressed, following the arrival of Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi of Libya, it became clear from statements released, that the talks had been precipitated by the confrontation over the Western Sahara between Algeria and Morocco and Mauritania. Morocco and Mauritania have taken over the administration of the territory from Spain.
For Colonel Gadafi and President Boumedienne, the meeting was their fourth in as many months. At earlier meetings they had pledged themselves to a mutual defence pact and announced long-range plans for the union of their two countries. President Kountche left after the first session, having had a private meeting with colonel Gaddafi earlier. But the Algerian and Lobyan heads-of-state continued their discussions on Friday.
Afterwards, Colonel Gaddafi said Libya's recognition of the Saharan Arab Republic, proclaimed by the Polisario Front and supported by Algeria, was just a formality.