President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire visited the Cango on Monday (6 June) for his first meeting with the country's new President, Colonel Yhombi Opango.
President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire visited the Cango on Monday (6 June) for his first meeting with the country's new President, Colonel Yhombi Opango. He was the third foreign head of state to pay an official call to the Congo since the assassination of President Marien Ngouabi in March.
SYNOPSIS: President Yhombi Opango, in full military uniform, was on hand at Brazzaville airport to greet the Zairois leader. Colonel Opango was Defence Minister before he stepped in as head of state.
He took over as President after the abortive coup in which President Ngouabi died. After a warm welcome, the two leaders held what was described officially as "friendly talks". The Congo is a pro-Soviet nation run along Marxist-Leninist lines. Colonel Opango himself is considering to be more moderate in his idealogies than the late President Ngouabi.
President Mobutu and the new Congolese leader discussed bilateral relations and the general situation in central Africa. They paid particular attention to the relations between Angola and Zaire. Tension developed between the two countries after President Mobutu accused Angola of backing the recent invasion of Zaire's Shaba province.
According to the official Zairois News Agency, President Opango was optimistic about the talks, and hoped further discussions would improve the situation.
President Mobutu's visit only lasted a few hours. But during that time, he said, he "cemented relations" with his Congolese neighbour. Last week President Omar Bongo of Gabon made a similar visit.
Relations between the Cango and Zaire have frequently been strained in the past -- mostly over differences in political philosophies.