United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said on Monday (23 May) that he considered the situation in Southern Africa very dangerous.
CU: United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim speaking at U.N. (3 Shots)
WALDHIEM: "I consider the situation in Southern Africa extremely serious, and very dangerous. There are efforts underway -- efforts for instance of the five Western members of the Security Council to work out a solution for the question of Namibia. Some progress was made. I have been kept fully informed by the five members of the Council on the talks with Prime Minister Vorster, but as you could see from the talks in Vienna there is still a considerable gap in the position -- in the position of the United States and the position of the South African government in regard to a solution for Namibia. The difficulties arise specially in regard to the interim administrating authority. As you are fully aware the United Nations does not accept the so-called Turnhalle solution, and the United States is rejecting it also. So we have to see what further efforts produce, whether it is possible to find a way out of that dilemma. But what is also continuing is the military confrontation in both cases -- Rhodesia and Namibia -- as far as Rhodesia is concerned, between Ian Smith and the liberation movements, so this shows clearly how important it is to achieve a breakthrough in these negotiations otherwise the war will escalate even further."
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Background: United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said on Monday (23 May) that he considered the situation in Southern Africa very dangerous. He was commenting on the talks which ended recently in Vienna between United States Vice-President Walter Mondale and South African Prime Minister John Vorster. The Vienna meeting was reported to have ended in an impasse when Mr Vorster refused to accept United States views on the importance of a change in South Africa's racial policies. Mr Waldheim was speaking at a news conference at the United Nations.
The Vienna meeting ended in an impasse, it was reported, when Mr Vorster refused to accept U.S. views that a change in the country's racial system was as important as the establishment of black majority rule in Namibia (South West Africa) and Rhodesia. However, Mr Vorster appeared optimistic about the talks. He said in Cape Town on Tuesday (24 May) that the Vienna meeting had been "doubly worthwhile", and that South Africa now faced a brighter future. Britain and the U.S. are now jointly working on a fresh effort to find a settlement on Rhodesia's independence dispute. This would replace the rebel British colony's white-minority regime with an internationally recognised black government by next year.