The President of Somalia, General Mohamed Siad Barre, arrived in Jordan on Tuesday (17 January) for two days of talks with King Hussein.
SV PAN: Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre leaves plane in Amman and is greeted by King Hussein.
GV: President and king with officials walk down red carpet.
CU INTERIOR: Hussein PAN TO President ZOOM OUT TO SV both men seated.
President Barre has claimed that there are about 12,000 Cuban troops fighting alongside Ethiopian forces in the Ogaden Desert war. but according to the United States State Department the number is more like 2,000. The State Department also classified the Cubans as "Military Advisers", and says there are also about 1,000 Soviet "advisers". Somalia was once one of Moscow's strongest allies in Africa. But it tore up its Friendship Treaty with Moscow and broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba last November after accusing both countries of giving Ethiopia military aid. The official Soviet news agency, Tass, meanwhile, has denied that Soviet personnel, or combatants from other Communist countries, are involved in the conflict. But Tass has acknowledged that the Soviet Union is giving Ethiopia "appropriate material and technical assistance in repulsing aggression." Iran and Saudi Arabia have already publicly warned Ethiopia that they would go to Somalia's aid if Somalia's internationally recognised borders are attacked.
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Background: The President of Somalia, General Mohamed Siad Barre, arrived in Jordan on Tuesday (17 January) for two days of talks with King Hussein. The two leaders discussed the situation in the Horn of Africa where Somalia is confronting Ethiopia over the Ogaden Desert.
SYNOPSIS: The Somali President visit to Jordan was the latest in a number of visits General Barre has made to Arab and Moslem capitals. Earlier this month he toured Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Oman and the Sudan. His purpose then was the same....to seek support for Somali forces who are fighting Ethiopia in the Ogaden Desert. The President is particularly concerned about Soviet aid to Ethiopia and claims that a Soviet inspired attack on his country is imminent.
This was something he later discussed with King Hussein who gave President Barre a warm welcome at Amman airport. As well as seeking support for the Somali position, the president is also seeking arms to match the equipment being used by Ethiopia.
Just prior to his talks with King Hussein, President Barre had asked Britain, France, West Germany and the United States for arms to defend Somalia against attack. But Britain for one has indicated that it would rather see the conflict settled by the mediation efforts of the Organisation for African Unity.