US embassy cable - 85GABORONE97

BOTSWANA NEWSPAPER CARRIES ARTICLE MISREPRESENTING U.S. SOUTHERN AFRICAN POLICY

Identifier: 85GABORONE97
Wikileaks: View 85GABORONE97 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Gaborone
Created: 1985-01-09 15:30:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PGOV US SF BC
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 091530Z JAN 85
FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2134
INFO AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMCONSUL CAPETOWN
AMEMBASSY HARARE
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM

UNCLAS GABORONE 0097 
 
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
DEPT FOR AF/S - MS. BLACKFORD; CAPETOWN FOR EMBASSY; DEPT 
PASS TO USIA/AF - WALSH 
 
E.O. 12356: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, US, SF, BC 
SUBJECT: BOTSWANA NEWSPAPER CARRIES ARTICLE MISREPRESENTING 
         U.S. SOUTHERN AFRICAN POLICY 
 
1.  (U)  THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED BOTSWANA DAILY NEWS (JANUARY 8, 
1985) CARRIED A LONG VERBOSE OVERVIEW OF 1984, THE "ORWELLIAN" 
YEAR ("VIOLENCE AND DISASTER, A GLEAM OF HOPE") CREDITED TO DEREK 
INGRAM OF GEMINI NEWS SERVICE.  ONE PARAGRAPH MISREPRESENTS 
ONE FACET OF CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA. 
 
2.  (U)  NINE PARAGRAPHS OF THE FULL-PATE ARTICLE DEAL WITH 
"AFRICA'S MOST DRAMATIC POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS" IN SOUTHERN 
AFRICA, AND TOUCH ON SOUTH AFRICA'S CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES, 
ITS RELATIONS WITH ITS NEIGHBORS AND THE RENEWED ATTEMPT TO 
CREATE "A BUFFERS REGION OF SUBDUED OR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORING 
STATES," BLACK UNIONS AND THE VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICAN TOWN- 
SHIPS, AND BISHOP DESMOND TUTU'S CONDEMNATION OF U.S. 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN POLICY.  THE OFFENDING PARAGRAPH 
READS QUOTE THE AMERICANS ARE CLOSELY INVOLVED IN MANY OF THESE 
MOVES IN A POLICY (OF) "CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT" AND ANOTHER 
PLANK OF THAT POLICY IS FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO TRY TO MAKE 
NKOMATI-TYPE AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER NEIGHBORS, NOTABLY BOTSWANA, 
LESOTHO, AND SWAZILAND.  THEY HAD SUCCEEDED IN SWAZILAND, 
BUT THE OTHER TWO PROVED MORE STUBBORN.  BOTSWANA SAYS NO.  END QUOTE 
 
 
3.  (LOU)  DRAWING ON EXISTING GUIDANCE, EMBASSY PLANS 
TO SEND THE FOLLOWING LETTER OVER THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAO TO 
THE EDITOR OF THE BOTSWANA DAILY NEWS:  QUOTE: IN HIS "VIOLENCE 
AND DISASTER, A GLEAM OF HOPE," WHICH APPEARED IN THE BOTSWANA 
DAILY NEWS OF JANUARY 8, 1985, MR. DEREK INGRAM WRITES THAT ON 
"PLANK" OF THE U.S. POLICY OF "CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT" IS 
"FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO TRY TO MAKE NKOMATI-TYPE AGREEMENTS WITH 
OTHER NEIGHBORS, NOTABLY BOTSWANA, LESOTHO, AND SWAZILAND." 
THIS IS A MISSTATEMENT OF U.S. POLICY.  THE POLICY 
OF "CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT" INCLUDES AN EFFORT TO REDUCE 
CROSS-BORDER VIOLENCE BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND ITS NEIGHBORS. 
IN THE CASE OF THE NKOMATI ACCORD BETWEEN MOZAMBIQUE AND SOUTH 
AFRICA, WE WELCOMED THE AGREEMENT AS A TURNING POINT AWAY 
FROM THE DESTABILIZING POLITICS OF CONFRONTATION IN SOUTHERN 
AFRICA, IN FAVOR OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH OF NEGOTIATIONS. 
FOR THOSE TWO COUNTRIES, A FORMAL POLITICAL AGREEMENT MET THE 
NEEDS OF BOTH PARTIES.  HOWEVER, AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF 
STATE CHESTER CROCKER HAS SAID, "THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS NOT 
PARTY TO ANY EFFORT TO IMPOSE A STANDARD FORMULA ON 
RELATIONS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND ITS NEIGHBORS.  EACH 
RELATIONSHIP IS DISTINCT AND STANDS ON ITS OWN MERITS. 
COEXISTENCE CAN TAKE MANY FORMS.  WHAT WE DO SUPPORT IS A REGIONAL 
CLIMATE OF DIALOGUE WHICH GIVES NEGOTIATON AND PEACEFUL 
CHANGE A CHANCE."  THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THE RIGHT 
OF EACH OF SOUTH AFRICA'S NEIGHBORS TO MAKE ITS OWN 
DECISION ABOUT THE TYPE OF ARRANGEMENTS IT WISHES TO MAKE WITH 
SOUTH AFRICA ON THE BASIS OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY 
AND STRICT RECIPROCITY.  THE U.S. GOVERNMENT BELIEVES 
THAT NO COUNTRY SHOULD BE FORCED TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT WHICH 
IT VIEWS AS CONTRARY TO ITS NATIONAL INTERESTS.  END QUOTE 
 
 
MAINO 

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