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World > Africa > Equatorial Guinea > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Equatorial Guinea - Foreign Relations (Notes)


FOREIGN RELATIONS
A transitional agreement, signed in October 1968, implemented a Spanish pre-independence decision to assist Equatorial Guinea and provided for the temporary maintenance of Spanish forces there. A dispute with President Macias in 1969 led to a request that all Spanish troops immediately depart, and a large number of civilians left at the same time. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were never broken but were suspended by Spain in March 1977 in the wake of renewed disputes. After Macias' fall in 1979, President Obiang asked for Spanish assistance, and since then, Spain has regained its place of influence in Equatorial Guinea. The two countries signed permanent agreements for economic and technical cooperation, private concessions, and trade relations. Spain maintained a bilateral assistance program in Equatorial Guinea. Most Equatoguinean opposition elements (including a purported government-in-exile) are based in Spain to the annoyance of the Equatoguinean Government. Relations between the two countries grew difficult after the March 2004 coup attempt due to their hosting opposition figure Severo Moto and their belief that Spain had foreknowledge of the coup. However, the Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, visited Equatorial Guinea in March 2005.

Equatorial Guinea has had generally cordial relations with its neighbors. It is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC), which includes Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo/Brazzaville, and Gabon. Equatorial Guinea is also part of the central Africa CFA franc zone, and the Cameroon-based Bank of Central African States coordinates monetary policy. The Bank of France guarantees the CFA franc, and French technical advisers work in the finance and planning ministries. France, Spain, Cuba, and China have participated in infrastructure and technical development projects.

Equatorial Guinea had a minor border dispute with Cameroon that was resolved by the International Court of Justice in 2002. The Corisco border dispute with Gabon was solved by an agreement signed with the help of UN mediation in January 2004, but the small island of Mbane and potentially oil-rich waters surrounding it remain contested. The majority Fang ethnic group of mainland Equatorial Guinea extends both north and south into the forests of Cameroon and Gabon. Cameroon exports some food products to Equatorial Guinea and imports oil from Equatorial Guinea for its refinery at nearby Limbe. The development of the oil industry by U.S.-based companies and the lack of a well-trained work force have provided motivation for an influx of English-speaking workers (legal and illegal) from Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana. (However, relations with the Nigerian Government have lately been cordial as the two countries delineated their offshore borders to facilitate development of nearby gas fields.) Roundups and expulsion of foreigners following the March 2004 coup attempt revived tensions between these neighbors.

The government's official policy is one of nonalignment and it has been reluctant to fully integrate itself into CEMAC. In its search for assistance to meet the goal of national reconstruction, the Government of Equatorial Guinea has established diplomatic relations with numerous European and third world countries.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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