537. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

19840. 1. Adoula called on Palmer again this afternoon after talking with Mobutu.

2. According to Adoula, Mobutu concurs with his interpretation of Congolese request contained in message to President of SC, i.e. that such assistance should be given upon the specific request of GDRC. FYI Adoula informed Deptoff after call on Palmer that at first Mobutu did not seem averse to assistance from USSR until Adoula reminded him of past history USSR-Congolese relations. End FYI.

3. At Mobutu’s request, Adoula raised Tshombe matter. Palmer explained serious concern in US about legal and humanitarian principles as well as manner in which Tshombe apprehended. He went on to say that summary execution of Tshombe would cause serious problem in US-GDRC relations.

4. Adoula defended Govt point of view but FYI in subsequent conversation with Deptoff indicated his unhappiness over course GDRC following in this case although he did not hide his anathema for Tshombe. End FYI.

5. Adoula said Mobutu had stated that primary problem was to get rid of mercenaries. Palmer agreed, stating that if they could be gotten rid by means other than force present problem would be well on way to solution. Adoula indicated his agreement.

6. Hope you able elicit similar interpretation GDRC request contained in letter to SC president so that there is no ambiguity on this point.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Schaufele, cleared by L. Dean Brown, and approved by Fredericks. Repeated to USUN.