• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The President of Angola, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, recently visited both East Germany and France (week 12-16 October).

  • Description

    GV French flag flying at Elysee PAN DOWN TO window
    SV President Mitterrand shakes hands with Dos Santos who walks to car and enters

    Background: INTRODUCTION: The President of Angola, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, recently visited both East Germany and France (week 12-16 October). In East Germany he met with government officials to discuss further military and technological aid to help counter the immense problems his country faces, following the South African invasion last month (September). In Paris, Mr. Dos Santos held talks with President Mitterrand, who is a strong supporter of the Angolan government. Discussion centred on the urgency of granting independence to Angola's neighbour, Namibia.

    SYNOPSIS: When the Angolan President arrived in East Berlin at the start of his European tour, he was met by the East German head of state, Erich Honecher. The South African incursions into Angola justified, Mr. Dos Santos announced, the presence in his country of more than 1,000 military advisers from East German and the Soviet Union, as well as 20,000 Cuban troops. The two leaders discussed the prospect of expanding trade and economic links between the two countries and signed an agreement which guarantees further medical assistance to Angola. East Germany acknowledged it has several hundred members of the Communist Free German Youth Organisation working in Angola and had supplied the country with some 1,000 heavy trucks in the past year.

    East Germany has an existing friendship and co-operation agreement with Angola and provided medical and other supplies during the fighting that followed attacks by South African forces. The visit to East Germany was part of the Angolan President's plan to interest both East and West european countries in Angola's vast mineral oil reserves. Already two large American petroleum companies are involved in a number of oil exploration programmes, and future prospects look good.

    In Paris, discussions with President Mitterrand centred on the prospects of speeding up Namibian independence.

    Mr. Dos Santos declined to make any comment on leaving the Elysee Palace after lunching wit Mr. Mitterrand. It was the first visit to France by an Angolan head of state since the former Portuguese colony became independent in 1975. The talks were arranged during a recent trip to Luanda by the French Presidential advisor, Regis Debray, and African Affairs expert, Guy Penne, who both took part in the Paris discussions. France, which has repeatedly condemned South African military attacks against Angolan territory, has been pressing for an early implementation of a U.N. plan for Namibia's independence. A French official said his government expected Cuban troops to be withdrawn from Angola, as soon as Namibian independence became a reality.
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