Two African Heads of State, President Omar Bongo of Gabon and President Mohamed Siau Barre of Somalia flew to the oil-rich Arabian Gulf State of Abu Dhabi on Sunday (January 6th) for brief visits.
Two African Heads of State, President Omar Bongo of Gabon and President Mohamed Siau Barre of Somalia flew to the oil-rich Arabian Gulf State of Abu Dhabi on Sunday (January 6th) for brief visits. The two presidents arrived direct from Mecca where they had made a pilgrimage.
President Bongo and President Barre arrived at Abu Dhabi airport within an hour of each other and both were welcomed by Sheikh Zaid bin Sultan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates. Their visits were fixed at short notice and their talks with Sheikh Zaid and his ministers were expected to centre on prospects for increased cooperation in various fields.
Gabon is an oil state but its output so far has been on a relatively small scale. Reuters news agency says observers believe Gabon is seeking development assistance from the Gulf States.
President Bongo and Sheikh Zaid signed a communique on Tuesday (3 January), President Bongo's last day in Abu Dhabi. The communique stressed the need to enhance cooperation between the two countries and between Arab countries and Africa. Delegations from Gabon and Abu Dhabi headed by their respective foreign ministers, signed several protocol agreements to develop cooperation in the fields of economics, culture and politics. The two countries also agreed to establish more high-level diplomatic relations.