Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre arrived in Paris on Tuesday (11 July) for talks with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
GV Elysee Palace
SV PAN FROM Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre TO President Giscard d'Estaing PULL OUT TO SV Barre and Giscard seated
SV Giscard and Barre shaking hands with officials
GV Barre shakes hands with Giscard as he leaves
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Background: Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre arrived in Paris on Tuesday (11 July) for talks with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
SYNOPSIS: The Somali leader's visit to France follows his trip last month to West Germany and the United Kingdom. President Barre's meeting with European leaders symbolise his socialist country's improving relations with the West, and diplomatic sources say the President has been explaining Somalia's need for military aid. His country is anxious to rebuild its army after the defeat in March by Soviet and Cuban-backed Ethiopian forces in the Ogaden. However, many West European governments are sceptical about arming a country which continues to express support for guerrillas opposing the Ethiopians. General Barre's movements are always kept secret, and his visit to Paris was announced only last week. As well as meeting with President Giscard, the somali leader would also hold talks with Foreign Minister Louis de Guiringaud. On his visits to Bonn and London, President Barre received assurances of economic, but not military, aid. West Germany is already involved in a number of development projects in Somalia.