The first phase of a new Anglo-U.S. initiative on Rhodesia ended in Lusaka, Zambia, on?
MVs Rhodesian nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo seated with aides talking to journalists, Lusaka, Zambia (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: NKOMO: "Whether they are conducting a meaningful conference, you. We said no to a (indistinct) conference. They are trying to find out for themselves whether they can call a conference. Fine."
REPORTER: After your talks with him do you feel the need for a conference?"
NKOMO: "I do not have to have any need whether there is a conference. It is a British affair. It is a British affair. We didn't break the Geneva conference. They did. We are at war now. We are fighting. And if they think that they can bring about removal of the causes of the war they will say so. We are fighting, we are going ahead with war. That's the position. We are at war. We live in the bush. Our own end of the work will be returned. If the British can meet us and give to the people of Zimbabwe that which we demand - well, let us have it. We are not fighting because we enjoy fighting. We are fighting because we want our country. If they can give it to us now (indistinct) they can meet that which we want because they know it. They have it before them in Geneva. But they had to look at it several times. What we want is Zimbabwe, finished, full stop. Bring us Zimbabwe -- we say thank you, goodbye."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The first phase of a new Anglo-U.S. initiative on Rhodesia ended in Lusaka, Zambia, on Wednesday (1 June). But it still faced major difficulties over drawing up plans to end the nation's growing guerrilla war, and introduce black majority rule. An Anglo-American team of negotiators had final talks with nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo, following earlier discussions with Rhodesian premier Ian Smith, and nationalist leaders Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Robert Mugabe. After the meeting Mr Nkoko, co-leader with Mr Mugabe of the "Patriotic Front" nationalist alliance, indicated that responsibility for calling any constitutional conference lay with Britain.
If Britain called a constitutional conference on Rhodesia "we will be there" Mr Nkomo told reporters after his talks with British diplomat John Graham, and the U.S. ambassador to Zambia, Mr Stephen Low. The discussions ended a first attempt by the British and American team to seek black-white agreement on an independence constitution for Rhodesia. Mr Graham said he had not expected any firm agreements during his first round of consultations. He was returning to London (Wednesday June 1) and expected to be back in Africa in about three weeks.