The Nigerian Foreign Minister, Mr. Okoi Airkpo, arrived in Paris on Thursday (7 November) for?
GV Building (3 shots)
SV PAN Nigerian and French F.M.'s leave car and go up steps to building
CU PAN both F.M.'s walk into room.
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Background: The Nigerian Foreign Minister, Mr. Okoi Airkpo, arrived in Paris on Thursday (7 November) for a two-day official visit -- described by French officials as "very important."
Immediately after his arrived Mr. Arikpo started talks with his French counterpart, Monsieur Jean Sauvagnargues. During his visit - the first by a Nigerian Foreign Minister since the end of the Civil War in Nigeria in 1970 -- Mr. Arikpo will also meet President Giscard D'Estaing and other ministers.
The talks are seen in Paris as paying the way to the normalisation of Franco-Nigerian relations, which have been strained for several years. Logos broke diplomatic relations with France in 1961, in protest against French nuclear tests in the Sahara.
Normal relations were resumed in October 1965, but were again put into question when France backed Biafra's secession in 1967.
Political observers say that the re-establishment of close links between the two countries will permit the strengthening of their economic co-operation.
France is one of Nigeria's main oil importers and had a balance of trade deficit with Nigeria of 2,000 million francs (GBP 200 million sterling) in the first six months of this year, due to oil price increases.