INTRODUCTION: Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny has signed a friendship and co-operation treaty with Mozambique, one of the most militant of the 'front line' states against white Rhodesia.
INTRODUCTION: Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny has signed a friendship and co-operation treaty with Mozambique, one of the most militant of the 'front line' states against white Rhodesia. The treaty is regarded as a major triumph of his ten day three-nation tour, which was aimed at expanding Soviet influence in the strategic area of southern Africa.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Podgorny announced the treaty when he addressed a mass rally in the centre of Maputo, the capital. A crowd of about 10,000 gathered near the City Hall, decorated with giant portraits of President Podgorny and his host, President Samora Machel. Maputo citizens were given a half day holiday to attend the rally. The treaty is only the third such agreement that the Soviet Union has negotiated with a country in black Africa.
The two leaders addressed the crowd from the City Hall balcony high above the square beneath. Below them, Soviet and Mozambique flags were waved enthusiastically, and banners carried slogans proclaiming the friendship between the two nations.
President Machel led his vast audience in a rhythmic chant towards the end of the rally. Mozambique was President Podgorny's last official call in the tour, after visits to Tanzania and Zambia.
President Podgorny's speech earlier contained several attacks on the Western-backed efforts to solve the problems of southern Africa through negotiations. He said the "resistance of the racists to the just demands of the peoples of the countries concerned" had aggivated the situation, and transformed Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa into "the hotpoints of the planet".