In Zambia, the exiled Rhodesian Patriotic Front co-leader, Mr Joshua Nkomo, has told British envoy Mr Cledwyn Hughes that an all-party conference on Rhodesia's future would be a 'non-starter'.
SV British envoy Mr. Cledwyn Hughes speaking at Rhodesian Patriotic Front Leader, Joshua Nkomo's residence in Lusaka
SV PAN Hughes and Nkomo walking out of house and shaking hands and getting into car
SV Hughes in car driving away
SV Nkomo speaking to newsmen (TWO SHOTS)
HUGHES: "It is far better to go on seeking a peaceful solution than to go on drifting to a worse state of violence and war in which people are killed. It is the duty, it is the duty of all of us to seek a settlement if we possibly can. Therefore, that is the purpose of the Prime Minister in requesting me to make this tour: to see whether there is a possibility that a meeting could achieve a settlement."
NKOMO: "It is vital; we must not be misunderstood. Thank you, sir."
HUGHES: "Thank you very much indeed. Most grateful. It has been a great pleasure to meet you. Thank you very much. Goodbye."
NKOMO: "Goodbye. Here is the car."
HUGHES: "Yes, here is the car. Thank you very much."
NKOMO: "Thank you."
NKOMO: "The so-called all-party conference is a non-starter. The situation there can only be settled by military men. If it is by talks, those talks have to be carried out by generals (indistinct) .. generals meeting on the battlefield and saying to each other: 'We are fighting ... we are fighting for equality, one man, one vote, equal opportunities .. everything .. for all our people; this is what we are fighting for. We are ready to talk to their generals any time, but we want a transfer of power, unqualified."
Mr. Hughes had previously received from Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere a gloomy assessment on the chances of the latest Anglo-American setting Rhodesia's future through negotiations. Zambian officials said on Saturday (2 December) that President Kaunda had planned merely to repeat to Mr Hughes his views that peace talks at this stage would bring no constructive result.
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Background: In Zambia, the exiled Rhodesian Patriotic Front co-leader, Mr Joshua Nkomo, has told British envoy Mr Cledwyn Hughes that an all-party conference on Rhodesia's future would be a 'non-starter'. Mr Nkomo told a news conference after their talks in Lusaka on Saturday (2 December) that the only worthwhile talks would be between generals on the battlefield. The same day, Mr Hughes spoke with Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, but no details of their talks were immediately available. Mr Hughes was scheduled to leave on Sunday (3 December) for Pretoria in South Africa. The British Prime Minister Mr James Callaghan has sent Mr Hughes to sound out southern African leaders on the possible value of peace talks on Rhodesia. After speaking with Mr Nkomo, Mr Hughes gave his views on the usefulness of talks.