INTRODUCTION Britain's new Foreign Secretary Doctor David Owen had a mixed reception on the first step of his southern African tour in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam on Monday (11 April).
INTRODUCTION Britain's new Foreign Secretary Doctor David Owen had a mixed reception on the first step of his southern African tour in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam on Monday (11 April). Dr. Owen, whose mission is aimed at bringing about a settlement to the struggle over white minority ruled Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), first met Mr. Robert Mugabe, political leader of the largest guerrilla force in Rhodesia. Mr. Mugabe's Patriotic Front National Alliance issued a statement afterwards saying it remained of the firm opinion, that the Zimbabwe conflict could only be resolved on the battlefield. Dr. Owen admitted at a press conference afterwards that there had been a number of major differences between his delegation and Mr. Mugabe's.
SYNOPSIS: Later on Monday in Dar es Salaam's Presidential palace Dr. Owen met Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, chairman of the committee of the five so called "front line" states with a border with Rhodesia. Dr. Owen -- here arriving with Tanzanian Foreign Minister Benjamin Mkapa for the meeting with President Nyerere -- said on of the major disagreements in his talks with Mr. Mugabe was that Mr. Mugabe wanted only the nationalists involved in fighting the guerrilla war to be included in discussions on Rhodesia.
But Dr. Owen said his two hours of talks with President Nyerere had gone well. He said President Nyerere had been very encouraging and he was hard pressed to find a single difference of opinion.
President Nyerere's press secretary, Mr. Robert Mdee, later agreed that there had been no major differences. But the Tanzanian government newspaper the Daily News the following day said that Dr. Owen's idea for a conference was not new and bitter experience had shown that the Smith regime would not surrender at a conference what it had not lost in battle.