296. Telegram 13019 From Secretary of State Kissinger in Oslo to the Embassy in Zaire 1 2

For Ambassador from Secretary

Subj: Message to Mobutu

1. You should insure that the following letter is passed to President Mobutu from the Secretary as soon as possible:

2. Dear Mr. President: I want to take this opportunity to express my satisfaction over my recent trip to Africa and Zaire in particular. I found our meetings constructive and enlightening. They will contribute, I am sure, to closer relations between our peoples.

3. I want you to know that we are working actively on your requests for additional economic and military assistance. I have personally discussed the Zaire security situation with the President and my colleagues in the Department of Defense, who are seized with the urgency of the problem. As you know, General Rockwell is arriving in Zaire shortly. I have talked to the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Rumsfeld, and he would be prepared to visit Zaire in the second half of July. He would be accompanied by a senior military officer. If urgency requires the earlier presence of a top defense department official, I could look into the possibility of a visit by a senior deputy somewhat sooner. I believe, however, that a visit by Mr. Rumsfeld would best fit the needs you and I discussed. Can you let me know your thoughts as soon as possible?

4. I wish to state, Mr. President, that the United States attaches great importance to the continued security and economic prosperity of Zaire and remains committed to assisting your government in achieving those objectives.

5. I also want to reaffirm the proposals that I made in the name of President Ford in Lusaka and in our joint communique regarding Southern Africa. The prospectives of Zaire and the United States converge in a common purpose to build a secure and just future for Africa, have every intention of continuing to communicate with you, and other African leaders, our ideas and suggestions on the problems in Southern Africa, and hope that you will fee free to communicate your ideas to us.

6. Again I wish to thank you for your warm hospitality and the insights you have given me in better understanding Africa and its aspirations. Best regards, Henry A. Kissinger.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy Files, 1976. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to the Department
  2. Secretary Kissinger instructed Ambassador Cutler to pass a letter to Mobutu, informing him that the United States was working actively on his request for economic and military assistance, and that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was prepared to visit Zaire in July.