The President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, has given his support to an Anglo-American proposal for round table talks of all parties involved in the Rhodesian settlement issue.
GV EXTERIOR: No. 10 Downing Street.
SV & CU: Sir Seretse Khama and Mr. Callaghan enter and pose for photographers before walking into another room. (3 SHOTS)
SV: Windows of No.10 interior.
SV: Sir Seretse Khama shakes hands with Callaghan enters car and drives away. (3 SHOTS)
The agenda for the discussions between Mr. Callaghan and Sir Seretse included the Namibian independence issue, and the renewed fighting in the south of Zaire. Economic aid was also an important item of discussion, and the two governments are negotiating aid for a new three-year period. Britain is giving assistance worth 13 million pounds (about 26 million U.S. dollars) to Botswana during the 1976 to 1979 three-year period. Sir Seretse Khama and his wife, Lady Ruth, will have lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Friday (19 May).
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Background: The President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, has given his support to an Anglo-American proposal for round table talks of all parties involved in the Rhodesian settlement issue. Sir Seretse had talks in London on Wednesday (17 May) with the British Prime Minister, Mr. Callaghan.
SYNOPSIS: The talks were held at Ten Downing Street. The Botswana President and the British Prime Minister agreed that the time had come to start direct round-table discussions aimed at ensuring direct black majority rule for Rhodesia by the end of this year. Sir Seretse agreed to a plan which was already approved earlier in the week by Zambia's President, Mr. Kenneth Kaunda. Rhodesia's Patriotic Front has also accepted the idea of talks, but the interim government in Rhodesia still has to give its final answer. The backing of Botswana and Zambia is important because they, along with the other front-line states of Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania, are supporting the Patriotic Front guerrilla movement of Mr. Joshua Nkomo and Doctor Robert Mugabe.
During two hours of talks, Sir Seretse Khama and Mr. Callaghan also discussed the future access of Botswana's beef to the European Economic Community. Mr. Callaghan told him that Britain was working with its Common Market partners for an early decision to open the British market to beef from Botswana.