26. Memorandum From Vice President Mondale to President Carter 1

SUBJECT

  • Meeting with Guinean Prime Minister Beavogui

On June 29, 1977, I met for 45 minutes with Prime Minister Beavogui of Guinea and his delegation of three Guinean Cabinet members. The meeting was extremely positive in tone. The Prime Minister, speaking for President Sekou Toure, emphasized:

—the friendship Guinea feels for the U.S.;

—Guinea’s desire to move ahead with economic, cultural, educational and industrial development programs between our two countries that will deepen our relationship and strengthen our friendship;

—Guinea’s full appreciation for your Administration’s Africa policy. The Prime Minister said with satisfaction that the Guineans see your policy as a certainty and they are impressed with the far-seeing nature of your views.

—He said we would see Guinea’s appreciation reflected in the positions it takes during the current OAU meeting in Libreville.

The Prime Minister confirmed that Guinea has put an end to the presence of Soviet long-range reconnaissance Bear aircraft which have [Page 70] operated out of Conakry, a decision which he had earlier conveyed to Warren Christopher.2

The Prime Minister said that President Sekou Toure and Guinea share fully your views on human rights—views which they see as the moral and social foundation for your policy in Africa. The Prime Minister confirmed, as he had said to Warren, that Guinea would be pleased to have a U.S. delegation visit his country to look into the human rights situation there.

Emphasizing his desire to be candid, the Prime Minister said that Guinea would be most appreciative if we could make available six coast guard cutters to help his nation protect its coast (however, he did not link this to the termination of the Bear flights). Of significance, he said that while weapons are important, Guinea attaches great importance to its economic, industrial, agricultural and educational cooperation with the U.S.

On these requests for assistance, I told the Prime Minister that I knew the State Department was giving consideration to his government’s request for the cutters. I said that we were pleased to consider Guinea’s request for cooperation in the fields he had identified, and I noted that our Ambassador—who was present at the meeting—had taken careful note of the specific points made by the Prime Minister.

In concluding, the Prime Minister emphasized again that Guinea views the U.S. as a friend. He said that it is his country’s greatest wish to receive a visit at the highest level from your Administration. He said President Sekou Toure hoped that you would accept his invitation to come to Guinea, but if you preferred, Sekou Toure would come to the U.S.; that if you could not make the visit they would be delighted to have me come; and if I could not, they would be delighted to have Secretary Vance come.

I told the Prime Minister I would convey his message and his invitation to you, and I said we looked forward to exploring ways to increase our cooperation.

Prime Minister Beavogui’s message could not have been more positive. Given the problems we have had with Guinea in the past, Sekou Toure’s decision to end the Bear flights is both positive and significant. I believe it would be very helpful if the State Department and the NSC were to forward a detailed analysis of this message [Page 71] delivered by the Prime Minister, together with recommendations on how the U.S. might effectively follow up.3

  1. Source: Carter Library, Donated Material, Mondale Papers, Box 42, Countries, Africa 7–12/77 [1]. Confidential. Copies were sent to Vance and Brzezinski.
  2. In telegram 148788 to Conakry, June 25, the Department reported on the June 23 discussion between Christopher and Beavogui. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770228–0407)
  3. See Document 28.