191. Telegram From Secretary of State Kissinger to the Department of State1

Secto 27003. Subject: Suggested Reply to Angolan President Neto (S/S 7619221).

Secretary approved modified text of the proposed reply to Angolan President Neto. Please translate text into Portuguese and instruct AmEmbassy Stockholm to deliver both English and Portuguese texts to Schori or another appropriate official in the Prime Minister’s office, with the request that they deliver both to the Angolans.
Begin text of message to Palme: Dear Mr. Prime Minister: I appreciate your assistance in developing the groundwork for an eventual dialogue with the Government of Angola. The message from President Neto which your office sent on to us on August 312 contained some positive elements, and may provide an opening to further discussions. We would appreciate it if the enclosed statement could be transmitted directly to President Neto by secure means.
Meanwhile, we will be watching closely to see whether Angola reduces substantially the number of foreign troops stationed on its soil and whether Angola is prepared to play a constructive role during the current delicate phase of our negotiations to bring majority rule and independence to Namibia and Zimbabwe by peaceful means. In this connection I note Neto’s attendance at the recent Dar es Salaam conference convened by President Nyerere.3
Given the respect accorded Sweden throughout the Third World, your cooperation in pursuit of both of these objectives is both helpful and very much appreciated. Best regards, Henry A. Kissinger. End of text to Swedes.
Begin separate text to the Angolans: The United States Government has read with interest the remarks of President Neto and shares his expressed desire to improve the relations between our two countries. American officials have repeatedly stated that the US has no quarrel with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, and we have sought to make this clear through our actions on certain commercial matters over the past six months. We maintain good and cooperative relations with many states whose ideology is different from ours.
Our concern since before independence has been that Angola should emerge as an independent, sovereign state which would be spared convulsions of civil warfare. We believed that only through some form of national reconciliation between the liberation movements could independence and peace emerge. The unfortunate history of Angola since independence speaks for itself.
We think that it is in the interests of both our countries to promote stability and peace in central and southern Africa. The presence of large numbers of foreign military personnel in Angola does not contribute to this goal.
The United States for its part wishes to make clear that it is neither encouraging nor supporting dissidents within Angola.
The US can appreciate Angola’s interest in entering the United Nations this fall. We hope, in turn, that President Neto can comprehend our concern over the continued presence in his country of a large army of a non-African power, which is notable for its hostility to the US and its apparent belief that the road to progress lies through armed confrontation rather than dialogue. Our position on Angola’s future admission to the UN will be considered in the context of the continued withdrawal of Cuban forces and Angola’s attitude toward ongoing efforts to promote a peaceful transition to genuine majority rule in southern Africa.4
In this regard, we have been encouraged by the recent indications given to US officials by the Angolan Representative to the UN that the Cuban forces would confine their activities within the boundaries [Page 480] of Angola itself. A policy of non-intervention in the affairs of neighboring territories will contribute to the goal we all seek of a peaceful transition to majority rule in southern Africa. Angola is in a position to play constructive role in the delicate process evolving in southern Africa.
The US Government would welcome President Neto’s views about how we could best develop our contacts in a constructive way and about the situation in southern Africa. We look forward to the time when we can have amicable relations with Angola. End Text to Angolans.
Begin Portuguese text to the Angolans: (Department please have text above translated into Portuguese, inserted as paragraph twelve etc, and transmit immediately to AmEmbassy Stockholm to pass to the Angolans.)
For Zurich: Please reproduce this telegram in five copies and have ready for Mr. Passage upon arrival this evening.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated Immediate to Zurich. Kissinger was traveling to Tanzania to meet with Nyerere regarding Rhodesia and Namibia.
  2. See Document 190 and footnote 2 thereto.
  3. Presidents Neto, Kaunda, Khama, Machel, and Nyerere met in Dar es Salaam September 5–7 to attempt to reconcile the differences among the Rhodesian black nationalist leaders.
  4. Voting against U.N. admission June 23, the United States emphasized the presence of Cuban troops in support of the People’s Republic of Angola. When the issue came before the Security Council on November 22, the vote was 13 in favor, none against, with the United States abstaining. The General Assembly voted to admit the People’s Republic of Angola to membership in the United Nations December 1. (Yearbook of the United Nations, 1976, pp. 305–308)