97. Letter From President Carter to Zairian President Mobutu 1

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your letter of February 202 and for sending your personal emissaries to Washington. I regret that my schedule did not permit me to receive Foreign Minister Umba-di-Lutete and Planning Minister Mulumba Lukoji.3 However, Secretary Vance and Dr. Brzezinski have given me a full account of their discussions on the Mobutu Plan for recovery and reform in Zaire, as well as on Angola and other issues of mutual concern. The discussions were most useful, and I have gained a much clearer impression of Zaire’s problems and its determination to overcome them.

We remain committed in principle to support the multilateral effort to help meet the economic and financial crisis facing your country. We look forward to exploring the details further in the weeks ahead. As you know we are convinced that the success of the Mobutu Plan will depend on implementing a stabilization program and an agreement with the IMF. I was therefore pleased to learn that your government has also formally requested the IMF’s help in recruiting outside specialists to exercise authority in the central bank and the Ministry of Finance, so that you can assure foreign exchange repatriation and budgetary control.

We welcome the role the Belgian Government has played in coordinating the multilateral effort and we look forward to cooperating fully with it, other countries, and international institutions in helping Zaire meet its problems.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 22, Zaire: Mobutu. No classification marking. The Department transmitted the letter to the Embassy in Zaire in telegram 72015 to Kinshasa, March 21. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780123–1123)
  2. In telegram 58521 to Kinshasa, March 7, the Department transmitted a translation of Mobutu’s letter to Carter asking for U.S. support for the Mobutu Plan. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780103–0527)
  3. In telegram 55150 to Kinshasa, March 3, the Department reported on the meeting between Umba and Vance. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780098–0958)