President Felix Houphouet Boigny of the Ivory Coast has defended his policy of talking to the South African government.
LV Congress building
CU & GV Dancers and musicians as delegates enter (3 shots)
SCU Boigny speaking in French
Initials BB/2315 JA/AH/BB/2325
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Background: President Felix Houphouet Boigny of the Ivory Coast has defended his policy of talking to the South African government.
President Boigny said dialogue with South Africa was the only way to monitor progress there on the race issue.
He was speaking at the sixth Congress of the ruling Ivory Coast Democratic Party of which he is leader.
He said South African leaders, especially the Prime Minister, Mr. John Vorster should be encouraged to continue dialogue with black Africa.
The President also confirmed that he had met Mr. Vorster in September last year. He told the congress that African leaders should send ambassadors to South Africa as Malawi had done. He said the presence of such ambassadors would contribute towards racial harmony more effectively than all the resolutions passed by the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity.
However the President told the Congress that he would need evidence that the South African government was moving towards racial equality before his country could establish diplomatic relations with Pretoria.