268. Telegram 15843 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Zaire1 2


  • Mobutu’s Speech to AAI Conference


  • Kinshasa 0562, 0591

For Ambassador Hinton

1. I am pleased that you took an early opportunity to express to two of President Mobutu’s chief collaborators your views concerning the impropriety of his remarks concerning President Ford’s nomination of Ambassador Nathaniel Davis as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

2. Rather than leave to chance the possibility that Bisengemana or Mokolo will pass your words on to Mobutu, I request that you seek earliest possible meeting with President and make following points:

A. I have read with dismay President Mobutu’s criticism of a purely domestic appointment made by the President of the United States.

B. I do not recall an instance in recent history when a friendly head of state has publicly criticized such an appointment.

C. The United States Government as a matter of policy would never offer such gratuitous public criticism of the domestic affairs of any state, much less of those of a friendly government.

D. I have valued the free and frank discussions I and my colleagues have always had with President Mobutu and his chief collaborators and we would wish them to continue; however, I feel it would be best if these discussions were carried on as in the past in private mutual exchanges as befits two friends.

E. President Ford has every confidence, as do I, in Nathaniel Davis and sees no valid reason for withdrawing his nomination as Assistant Secretary. I consider him an outstanding officer in every sense of the word.

F. I am sure that, when confirmed, Nathaniel Davis will make an excellent Assistant Secretary for African Affairs in whom President Mobutu And members of his government can have full trust and confidence.

3. Please report Mobutu’s reaction.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy Files, 1975. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Mulcahy, cleared in M, and approved by Kissinger.
  2. The Department instructed Ambassador Hinton to tell President Mobutu directly that his comments about the Davis nomination were an improper interference in U.S. domestic affairs.