174. Letter From French President Giscard d’Estaing to President Ford1

Dear Mr. President:

Yesterday in Paris I received the President of the Republic of Gabon. He shared with me his thoughts as well as those of President Houphouet-Boigny on the Angolan matter. These two Presidents as well as Chiefs of State of other moderate African countries are going to recognize within a very short time, the People’s Republic of Angola (MPLA).

Our two countries have maintained close cooperation on their policies with regard to Angola. We have, for our part, kept the commitments which we undertook. But, on the whole, the actions which France and the United States have taken have not been able to improve the situation, to my regret, and we are forced to recognize that the People’s Republic of Angola (MPLA) is exercising control over the major part of the territory in this country.

Our moderate African friends are troubled by this situation and are going to recognize the new state very soon. It seems to me important that we avoid their doing this in a dispersed fashion and separately from us. It seems to me as well that France must not give the impression of refusing to recognize the new state until the last moment and rather under the pressure of events. This is why we propose to recognize the People’s Republic of Angola (MPLA) very soon. I wanted to inform you of this personally before this decision is made public.

Please accept, Mr. President, the expression of my most friendly thoughts.

V. Giscard d’Estaing 2
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 12, General Subject File, France, General (4). Confidential.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.