496. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Congo General
- Congolese Ambassador Cyrille Adoula
- The Secretary
- Roy Haverkamp, AFCM
- Alec Touamayan, L/S interpreter
The Secretary began the conversation by telling Ambassador Adoula that the Congo continues to be an important preoccupation of the United States Government, that what happens there is of the deepest interest to us and is followed very closely. The Ambassador said that he had recently been in Kinshasa where he was asked by Foreign Minister Bomboko to bring greetings and best wishes to the Secretary and to the American people. As a result of his stay in Kinshasa the Ambassador was optimistic over the future prospects of his country. Thanks to U.S. aid and the success of the Mobutu regime, the situation has been stabilized and the rebellion is disappearing despite several remaining pockets. The Congo now has friendly relations with its neighbors and must now make an effort to improve its economic situation. The Mobutu regime has deep popular support and its reforms have been well received by the people. The net result of the reforms already instituted and those contemplated will be the creation of a new base of confidence for foreign investment, particularly American foreign investment. The Ambassador said that he had been asked by his government to convey its thanks and those of the Congolese people to the American Government and people for their indispensable help in creating these favorable conditions.
Aftermath of November 1964 U.S.–Belgium Paradrop on Stanleyville
The Secretary asked if there was any residue of ill will toward the United States as a result of our involvement in the November 24, 1964 rescue operation in Stanleyville. Ambassador Adoula replied that the general population was certainly afraid when they heard of the paradrop on Stanleyville but that they soon realized that the rescue operation benefited not only foreign hostages of the rebels but also Congolese [Page 726] hostages. It was a humanitarian act benefiting everyone involved. Now the people have forgotten the incident and no longer talk about it except for a few interested individuals. There is no discernible resentment against the United States and Belgium for this operation.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL THE CONGO. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Haverkamp and approved in S on May 17. The memorandum is labeled “Part I of IV.” The meeting was held in Secretary Rusk’s office.↩