The decision of the Rhodesian transitional government to attend an all-party conference has drawn a critical reaction from Tanzania.
SCU Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere speaking.
CU Nyerere listens to question and replies.
NYERERE: "The last few days I have heard noises from the United States - Smith saying: yes, he might accept to attend an all-parties' meeting, provided it is unconditional. Now this is nonsense, and we have made this very clear. An all-parties' meeting without conditions, which is the way smith phrases it, is an all-parties' meeting on Smith's conditions. And we will not encourage the Patriotic Front to accept this. The British and Americans have put proposals to us which we have accepted. And they have been accepted by the Patriotic Front, by the frontline states, by the O.A.U., by the United Nations, and, really, it is up to Smith to accept them, and to go to an all-parties' meeting to really thrash these things out. If he does not, then there is no basis on which to hold an all-parties' meeting. We are not going to encourage our friends of the Patriotic Front to give their forearm to Smith to make propaganda. This is war you know. This is a very serious matter.
REPORTER: "Are there any elements in the present situation that you don't understand?"
NYERERE: "There are many. There are many that I don't understand, and that I don't; frankly. one is Zambia's opening of the border. We can see that, if Zambia felt she was in a state of siege -- and she needn't to make this decision urgently to open up the border -- I say, in that kind of state, possibly you make a decision like that. But a decision to abandon Dar-es-salaam and a railway that was built for that purpose, and a road which was built for that purpose -- for the purpose of preventing Zambia from being blackmailed by Smith -- the decision to abandon those facilities, to dump all the fertilisers in Mozambique, and unless Mozambique agrees to open up the railway links with Zambia, there is no railway link between Mozambique and Zambia. That decision is very difficult to understand; it's an extremely difficult decision to understand. Then the following decision to pass this fertiliser in enemy territory at this stage, is very difficult."
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Background: The decision of the Rhodesian transitional government to attend an all-party conference has drawn a critical reaction from Tanzania. Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith announced his readiness to attend talks after his visit to the United States with his co-partners in the Government, Chief Jeremiah Chirau and Bishop Abel Muzorewa. But Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere, speaking to a reporter from NRK, Oslo, last week, was sceptical of Mr. Smith's motives.