Guinea coup leaders postpone meeting with foreign envoys

December 28th, 2008 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Conakry (Guinea), Dec 28 (DPA) Guinea’s new military junta has postponed a meeting aimed at wooing foreign diplomats until Tuesday.Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who seized power last Tuesday hours after the death of President Lansana Conte, was due to meet representatives from the United Nations, European Union, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Saturday.

However, the charm offensive was put off with no reason being given for the decision.

The coup has received widespread international condemnation, although Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade Friday urged foreign governments to back the new leaders.

Earlier in the day, Camara spoke to trade unions, civil groups and political parties as part of attempts to convince locals and the international community of the new regime’s good intentions.

Camara said that all mining contracts would be renegotiated and that that anybody found guilty of corruption would be punished.

International companies are heavily involved in mining in the West African nation, which has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, an ore used to make aluminium, and significant deposits of gold and diamonds.

Camara has said that he has no interest in holding on to power and would arrange “free, fair and transparent” elections for 2010.

The Guinean constitution specifies that in the event of the president’s death, the head of the National Assembly should take over and elections should be organized within 60 days.

Conte, who ruled Guinea for 24 years after seizing power in a bloodless coup, was buried Friday.

In recent years his leadership was tested by a military mutiny, anti-government riots and strikes over the rising cost of food and fuel.

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