In Dakar, Senegal, Heads of State and representatives of 18 French-speaking African countries gathered together last week for the fourth Franco-African summit meeting.
In Dakar, Senegal, Heads of State and representatives of 18 French-speaking African countries gathered together last week for the fourth Franco-African summit meeting. French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing also attended anon the last day of the meeting on Thursday (21 April) pledged that France would help safeguard the security of the French-speaking African nations with which it has co-operation agreements.
SYNOPSIS: Security was the dominant topic during the two-day meeting, although it was originally expected that most time would be devoted to economic problems. Security was also the main theme at a news conference held after the summit's last working session. President Giscard, Seychelles President James Mancham and Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet Boigny were among the participants.
Presidents Felix Malloum of Chad and Leopold Senghor or Senegal also took part -- with all five Heads of State answering questions from newsmen on topics discussed at the summit.
During the summit President Giscard said that his country recognised the right of African states to security and would live up to its commitments whenever necessary.
Asked during the news conference whether this meant providing troops and military equipment, the French leader would only say "France's solidarity would be expressed within agreed commitments".
Shortly after the summit finished ministers and representatives from countries belonging to the Afro-Mauritanian Common Organisation -- OCAM -- assembled at the Foreign Ministry building in Dakar for an extraordinary meeting.
It had been called to discuss the termination of contributions from the ten member states to a guarantee and Solidarity Fund and also to examine means of defining the relationship between OCAM and its specialist institutions. In the past OCAM has sometimes been described as the "French Commonwealth without France" and has undergone several internal upheavals.
In 1974 it was decided to remove the organisation's political content and concentrate on its economic activities. The meeting in Daycare last week lasted for only two-and-a-half hours.