276. Letter From Secretary of State Kissinger to Zairian President Mobutu1 2

Message sent [text not declassified] to Kinshasa


  • U.S. Emissaries to Kinshasa

1. [text not declassified] deliver immediately following message to President Mobutu. [text not declassified] deliver message personally to Mobutu or, if this not feasible without delay, assure delivery by fastest and most, secure means possible. [text not declassified]

2. QUOTE: Dear Mr. President: I am deeply disturbed by the recent allegations of United States involvement in a plot against you. It is apparent to me that these allegations are the result of a misunderstanding between our two countries. Since I attach great importance to our relations with Zaire, I believe it would be beneficial for an emissary of my government to discuss these allegations with you frankly and, in view of the action just taken by your government with respect to Ambassador Hinton, to discuss as well steps that might be taken to improve our bilateral relations. I also believe it is important that we discuss with you the situation in Angola and have your views on the recent developments there and possible cooperative actions.

3. If you agree, Mr. President, it would be useful to consult on these important matters, I would propose to send to Kinshasa as my personal emissary Ambassador Sheldon Vance, one of our most [Page 2] experienced diplomats who, as you know, is well acquainted with Zaire and in whom I have complete confidence. He would be accompanied by Mr. Walter Cutler, Director for Central Africa at the State Department. They would be prepared to travel to Kinshasa as soon as it is convenient for you to receive them.

4. It is my earnest hope that through such discussions we may be able to reach a better understanding of our mutual concerns and clear the way for closer cooperation in the future.

Sincerely, Henry Kissinger UNQUOTE

5. [text not declassified] report immediately action taken and any GOZ reactions, [text not declassified].

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 257, Geopolitical Files, Zaire, August 74-June 75. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Cutler, cleared in S and by Mulcahy.
  2. Secretary Kissinger expressed his belief that allegations of U.S. involvement in a plot against President Mobutu was a result of a misunderstanding between the United States and Zaire, and proposed sending former Ambassador to Zaire Sheldon Vance to Kinshasa for consultations.