WASHINGTON, March 13 - Ahmadou Ahidjo, President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, arrived today for a two-day state visit. The 38-year old leader of the West African republic was greeted at the Washington National Airport by President Kennedy.
In his welcoming remarks President Kennedy paid tribute to "one of the youngest Presidents in the world" for the leadership he had shown "in uniting a country with different languages which had not known a sense of nationhood and community until recent years." Mr. Kennedy expressed admiration for President Ahidjo's efforts to obtain a better life for his people and the hope that his visit would further those efforts. It was a most fortunate time for the visit, Mr. Kennedy said, because Cameroon was not only the geographical hinge upon which Africa turned, but could also become the political and economic hinge.
Replying in French, President Ahidjo said his nation had followed with great attention President Kennedy's "dynamic policies" and his "efforts to consolidate friendship among nations." Africans, he said, were grateful for the attitude of the president of the United States "toward our continent."
Before exchanging greetings, a twenty-one gun salute was fired for the visiting head of state and the Cameroon and United Stated national anthems were played. After the airport ceremony, the two presidents rode to Blair House, the government's guest house.
At 1 p.m. President Kennedy gave a state luncheon for the Cameroon president at the White House. After lunch they conferred on a broad range of subjects, including the Congo, United Nations problems, decolonization of remaining dependent territories in Africa and economic aid.
Video of the Ahidjo-Kennedy meeting coming soon.