155. Message From Secretary of State Kissinger to French President Giscard d’Estaing1

WH 52530. Deliver at opening of business.

Dear Mr. President:

In light of our conversation earlier this week,2 and after discussing our meeting and the Angolan situation with President Ford,3 I wanted you to know what our plans are.

We will be sending instructions today to our Ambassadors in Zaire, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Zambia, Liberia, and Senegal, directing them to emphasize with their host governments our support for the FNLA and UNITA and urging them to use their influence to prevent further recognition of the MPLA.4

As I informed you in our meeting, we have informed Zaire that we will be prepared to match Soviet military aid.

Early next week, I will be sending Assistant Secretary Schaufele to Zaire, Zambia, the Ivory Coast, and Gabon to assure them of our continuing support. I would be pleased to have him visit any other countries you may think are appropriate.

With respect to the provision of helicopter gunships for use in Angola, I wanted you to know that we have informed your government [less than 1 line not declassified] of our willingness to provide a C–130 aircraft for transportation and support of the helicopters. It is my understanding that we are now awaiting a final decision from your government on this joint project. Perhaps you could expedite initiation of this activity.

I also wanted you to know that the debate in this country will not affect our immediate plans. We are still in a position to provide further support and intend to do so. If we can maintain the local military balance over the next few weeks, we will be in a position to make a political move to put pressure on the Soviet Union. We will want to consult closely with you over this critical period.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 12, General Subject File, France, General (4). Secret; Sensitive. Written on December 18.
  2. Not further identified; see footnote 2, Document 149.
  3. See Document 153.
  4. See Document 158.