Portugal and African nationalists from Guinea-Bissau on Monday night (26 August) signed an independence agreement in Algiers, ending 13 years of fighting in Portugal's oldest African colony.
Cars arrive at Peopls's Palace
GV Interior, delegates taking places
GV Delegates at table
SCU Foreign Ministers Soares with PAIGC leader
SV Officials watch as delegates sign (2 shots)
GV Delegates applaud as signatories shake hands and embrace (2 shots)
Two signatories with Boumedienne (2 shots)
Initials ET/218 ET/248
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Background: Portugal and African nationalists from Guinea-Bissau on Monday night (26 August) signed an independence agreement in Algiers, ending 13 years of fighting in Portugal's oldest African colony.
The agreement paved the way for the Republic of Guinea-Bissua to become a sovereign State on 10 September. All Portuguese armed forces will be withdrawn from the West African territory by 31 October.
The agreement was signed by the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Dr. Mario Soares, the Overseas Territories Minister Antonio de Almeida Santos and by Commander Pedro Pires for the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands. (PAIGC).
SYNOPSIS: The people's Palace in Algiers on Monday was the setting for an important moment in African history..... the signing of an agreement for the independence of Guinea-Bissau.
Independence for the west African colony became a real possibility with the coup in Portugal earlier this year. Negotiations between the new Portuguese Government of President Spinola and representatives of the African Nationalist Movement in Guinea Bissau....the PAIGC....began in London in May, this year.
The Portuguese Government's chief representative at those talks war Foreign Minister Mario Soares. He and Overseas territories Minister Antonio de Almeida Santos were in Algiers for the signing, along with the Commander Pedro Pires of the PAIGC.
The agreement means that the Republic of Guinea-Bissau will become a sovereign State on 10 September. All Portuguese armed forces will be out of the country by the end of October. In fact, the airlift of troops has already begun.
Portugal and Guinea-Bissau will also exchange ambassadors immediately after the proclamation of independence by President Spinola. Portugal has also agreed to actively co-operate with the newly-independent State.
After the official ceremony in Algiers, the signatories to the agreement were met by Algeria's President Houari Boumedienne. The President welcomed the agreement, which ended thirteen years of civil war in the colony, and said it heralded "a new page in African-Portuguese history. "The President also hoped the same spirit would continue during negotiations on the future of Mozambique and Angola.