347. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 0

1577. Re Angola. In view fact that Liberians insist on going ahead on SC meeting on Angola,1 and fact they have requested US as President of SC to initiate consultations with other members re timing meeting, believe we have no alternative but to acquiesce in consideration this matter by Council. Believe US should go along with whatever consensus may be re timing of Council meeting.

Re question of inscription, our present assumption is that we would vote affirmatively.

In order to seek make Council consideration of this matter more manageable and minimize possible adverse effects, Dept giving urgent consideration possible courses of action which might be suggested to Liberians in particular so that US efforts with Portuguese to get them to liberalize their policies will not be seriously jeopardized.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 753N.00/3-161. Confidential; Priority; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Sisco, cleared in substance by Kohler and Penfield and Dumont in draft, and approved by Cleveland. Repeated to Monrovia and Lisbon.
  2. On February 4, several hundred Angolan nationalists attacked a Portuguese police station in Luanda, with heavy losses on both sides. On February 20, Liberia formally requested the U.N. Security Council to take up the situation in Angola. On March 14, the United States voted in favor of a draft Security Council resolution urging Portugal to introduce reforms in Angola for the purpose of permitting the Angolan people to exercise the right of self-determination, and calling for a U.N. subcommittee to report on conditions in Angola. The draft resolution failed of adoption by a vote of 5 to 0, with 6 abstentions (including the United Kingdom and France).
  3. On March 2, Ambassador C. Burke Elbrick reported from Lisbon that he regretted that the United States was considering an affirmative vote on the Liberian proposal. He noted that such a vote would produce an immediate anti-U.S. reaction in Portugal and would also jeopardize any chance of effectively persuading the government to take further liberalizing steps in Angola. (Telegram 549 from Lisbon; Department of State, Central Files, 753N.00/3-261)