The President of Equatorial Guinea, Colonel Theodoro Obiang N'Guema M'Basogo, has been on a three-day official visit to France.
GV EXTERIOR Elysee Place, Paris
SV President Giscard d'Estaing with President of Equatorial Guinea, Theodoro Obiang N'Guema M'Basogo, shaking hands, then greeting Madame Giscard, and leaders begin to walk away
CU President M'Basago speaking to newsmen in Spanish
SV President M'Basogo walks to car (2 shots)
SV Guinean delegation members on steps
SV Car leaving Elysee Palace
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Background: The President of Equatorial Guinea, Colonel Theodoro Obiang N'Guema M'Basogo, has been on a three-day official visit to France. He had talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday (14 November) with President Giscard d'Estaing. Formerly Chief of the National Guard, President M'Basogo seized power in the tiny West African country from his uncle, Macias Nguema, in a coup in August last year.
SYNOPSIS: President M'Basogo's visit was seen as a step towards his country's establishing better relations with the West after eleven years of dictatorial and inept rule under his uncle. For administrative purposes, the country is divided into two provinces: the island of Fernado Poo, due west of Cameroon in the Atlantic Ocean, and the rectangular territory of Rio Muni, on the African mainland. France is the only country to have maintained regular diplomatic presence there since Spain created the two provinces.
President M'Basago said his talks with President Giscard had been most useful. They ranged through ways of co-operating in technical, cultural and economic areas, and resulted in the two countries signing agreements covering these subjects. Equatorial Guinea has also signed an agreement with France on offshore oil exploration, which has been going on close to both provinces. The president declared himself satisfied with France's responses to his country's needs. He said France was well aware of African problems, and could help to overcome them.
Twenty years ago, Equatorial Guinea had the highest export trade per head of any African country, notably in coffee, cocoa and timber. But it's thought to have slipped back badly under President Nguema. Credits have come from Spain, the EEC and the African Development Bank to revive the cocoa plantations. Her future depends entirely on good relations with Spain.