INTRODUCTION: The Soviet Union and Mozambique signed a friendship and cooperation treaty on Thursday (31 March).
INTRODUCTION: The Soviet Union and Mozambique signed a friendship and cooperation treaty on Thursday (31 March). The treaty was signed during a visit by the Soviet President, Nikolai Podgorny, who has been on a three nation tour of southern Africa. The Soviet leader arrived in Mozambique on Tuesday (29 March)
SYNOPSIS: President Podgorny was met by Mozambique's President Samora Machel when he arrived in the capital, Maputo. Thousands of Mozambicans were given a five hour break from work to welcome the Soviet President. It was the Soviet Union that provided Mozambique's ruling Frelimo movement with arms and support during its long war for independence from Portugal. The welcome afforded the Soviet leader was a sign of the close relations between the two countries.
Mr. Podgorny has reiterated during his African tour the Soviet Union's support for black nationalists seeking to overthrow white minority rule in southern Africa.Mozambique has been a base for black nationalist guerrillas operating against Rhodesia. But the Soviet Union has denied it is seeking control of southern Africa and the strategic Cape sea route. An official travelling with President Podgorny with President Podgorny said there would be no Soviet requests for military facilities in Mozambique.
President Podgorny attended a ceremony on Wednesday (30 March) for people killed during the war of independence against Portugal. The Kremlin leader laid a wreath at a simple stone memorial in Maputo. The other two countries he visited during his tour were Tanzania and Zambia. Southern Africa played a major part in the speeches the two Presidents made shortly after the Soviet leader arrived. President Podgorny declared that the bells were tolling for racism and colonialism. While his host, President Machel, said the Soviet leader's visit was a stimulus for freedom fighters in southern Africa.
President Podgorny's visit to Mozambique has been the most successful stop in his african tour; a success which may mark renewed Soviet influence in the region.