INTRODUCTION: The President of the Soviet Union, Mr. Nikolai Podgorny, has left for an important?
GVs Airport building in Moscow, U.S.S.R. PAN DOWN TO Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny and Soviet Communist Party Political Bureau members walking across tarmac. (3 shots)
SV PAN FROM Podgorny TO Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
SV Podgorny greeting pilot.
SV Podgorny boarding aircraft and waving.
SV African diplomats and Soviet officials waving and aircraft taxiing away. (3 shots)
When Mr. Podgorny stopped over in the Soviet central Asian city of Tashkent, he said t he national liberation struggle was broadening in Rhodesia, South West Africa, and South Africa. The Soviet Union will render all-round assistance to the peoples who are fighting for their freedom, independence and social progress, said Mr. Podgorny. His statement of support for black African nationalists was also contained in a message to a meeting held at the United Nations to mark an international day for the elimination of racial discrimination.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The President of the Soviet Union, Mr. Nikolai Podgorny, has left for an important African tour. He's visiting Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique -- three of the five so-called "front line" black African states committed to overthrowing the Rhodesian government.
SYNOPSIS: His tour is the first of its kind made by a member of the Kremlin leadership. The main aim, according to western news reports, appears to be the assertion of the Soviet claim to a roll in shaping the area's future, following diplomatic initiatives there by the United States and Britain. Mr. Podgorny is accompanied by a 120-man delegation, including General Sergei Sokolov, a foreign military aid specialist.
Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko was one of the Kremlin leaders at Mr. Podgorny's departure. Rhodesia's transition to black majority government is thought likely to be among the major topics the Soviet President will discuss with African leaders and Rhodesian nationalists.
Moscow would prefer the black majority rule in Rhodesia to take the form of a radical, pro-Soviet government, according to the news agency Reuters. The official Soviet view is that black nationalists alone will be stepping up their right against the white rule in southern Africa, making the role of the "front line" states more important.
Deputy Foreign Minister Leonid Ilyichov, a long-standing China-expert, is also accompanying President Podgorny. Besides its rivalry with western powers in Africa, the Soviet Union competes for influence with its communist opponent, China.