Preparatory work is going on all this week in Havana, Cuba, for the non-aligned summit conference which opens there next Monday (3rd September).
Preparatory work is going on all this week in Havana, Cuba, for the non-aligned summit conference which opens there next Monday (3rd September). Ambassadors of the 89 member countries have already started their discussions, and the Foreign Minister will Meet on Thursday (30th August). The summit conference will chart the policies which the non-aligned movement will follow for the next three years. Already there is controversy about the first draft of a declaration Cuba had prepared as a working document. Some member countries, particularly Yugoslavia, see parts of the declaration as tending to prejudice the independence of the non-aligned movement, and leading towards closer ties with the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: The movement was founded in Belgrade eighteen years ago. Most of the leaders who were there then -- President Nasser of Egypt; Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus -- have since died or lost office. Twenty five countries were represented, with Latin American and Arab states making up the majority. India has lost Pandit Nehru; but their host and chairman, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia -- who is ??? -- will be in Havana.
The movement has grown rapidly. By the fifth summit conference in Sri Lanka three years ago, it had 85 members. It has admitted delegations from organisations still fighting for independence as well as states that have newly achieved it. Among eight applicants for membership this time will be the Patriotic Front of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
Mrs. Bandaranaike, chairman at the last summit meeting, is no longer in office in Sri Lanka, but the new head of government, President Jayewardene, has played an active role in preparations for Havana. Last November, he discussed plans for the conference with the Cuban Foreign Minister, Isidoro Malmierca. Senor Malmierca has been out spoken, at non-aligned meetings, in his criticism of the Western powers, particularly the United States, for imperialism and attempts to sabotage detente with the Soviet Union; themes that re-appear in Cuba's working document for the Havana conference.
President Fidel Castro of Cuba, receiving a warm welcome in Ethiopia, where his forces had helped the government of Colonel ??? to win its ??? against the Western Somalis in the Ogaden. some of the more revolutionary African governments have welcomed the Cuban presence in Africa; others -- Zaire for example -- have seen it as an indication that Cuba is furthering Soviet policies there, and questioned whether it is compatible with non-alignment.
The change of regime in Kampuchea poses another problem for the conference. Early this year, a new government, under Heng Samrin, was installed in Phnom Penh with Vietnamese aid. Several countries have accused Vietnam of flouting one of the non-aligned movement's basic principles: the territorial integrity of member states. They were reluctant to allow Cuba???to send an invitation to Heng samrin's delegation rather than to that of the ousted Pol Pot. The question has been left to the conference to decide.
President Sadat of Egypt is also under attack. The Cuban working document criticises Egypt for concluding a peace treaty with Israel. At the summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity last month, eight Moslem states walked out while President Sadat was speaking. some of the same countries may try to have Egypt suspended from the non-aligned movement. But others feel equally strongly that President Sadat has not broken any of its principles, and should remain.