In Malta talks on a Rhodesian settlement between Patriotic Front guerrilla leaders and British and American officials entered their second day on Tuesday (31 January).
GV EXTERIOR: Grand Hotel.
SV: Mr Robert Mugabe leaving conference room for lunch (3 shots)
SV: Mr Joshua Nkomo leaving and talking to reporters.
SV: Dr David Owen talking to reporters
Lord Carver leaving meeting.
SV: Mr Andrew Young leaving.
Conference sources said the two sides were so far apart there would be little point in continuing the negotiations unless reconciliation seemed possible. The Patriotic Front have not been represented at the internal settlement talks in Rhodesia. Britain's view has been that the talks initiated by Premier Smith are doomed to failure in the long term because they would not prevent a continuation of the war being waged by the Front's forces.
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Background: In Malta talks on a Rhodesian settlement between Patriotic Front guerrilla leaders and British and American officials entered their second day on Tuesday (31 January). Reuters news agency reported the guerrillas were demanding a dominant role in guiding Rhodesia to black rule. The talks have been taking place at the same time as separate negotiations in Salisbury on an internal settlement over majority rule between Premier Ian Smith and other black leaders.
SYNOPSIS: The Front's proposals differ drastically from those of British Foreign Secretary David owen and American UN Ambassador Andrew Young. A tough line is being taken by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, who spoke to reporters:
NKOMO: "We were discussing...this is a problem of Zimbabwe which has been there for a number of years. Now we are discussing it after 13 years of war, and we are discussing it, this is important what we are discussing."
Dr Owen wouldn't go into details after the morning session, but a British spokesman said after the guerrillas had presented their written demands that 'It would be wrong to say gaps are being narrowed." He said new differences had not been introduced, but the wide gaps between the two sides had been emphasized.
Rhodesia would be ruled by Field Marshal Lord Carver and a UN peace force until majority-rule elections under the plan jointly proposed by Andrew Young and Dr Owen.