178. Message From President Ford to French President Giscard d’Estaing1

WH 60214. Deliver at opening of business.

Dear Mr. President:

I appreciate your having provided me, in your message of February 12,2 with advance notification that you intend shortly to recognize the People’s Republic of Angola (MPLA).

I understand the considerations which have led you to this decision, but I do not believe that the attitudes of the MPLA are likely to be affected in any manner by the rapidity with which we take steps to recognize it. The failure of resistance in Angola in the face of massive Soviet and Cuban intervention is a geopolitical fact which cannot be ignored. Therefore, the United States intends to move slowly and with careful deliberation. In the meantime, we shall do our best to rally both U.S. and world public opinion against what is taking place in Angola.

Again, Mr. President, I appreciate the courtesy of your advance notification.3

Sincerely, Gerald R. Ford

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 265, Cables File, Kissinger, Henry, 10 December 1975–17 February 1976. Confidential.
  2. Document 174.
  3. France recognized the MPLA government on February 17.