Angolan President Agostinho Neto visited Zaire over the week-end and met President Mobuto in an effort to improve relations between the neighbouring states which have been strained over the past few months.
Angolan President Agostinho Neto visited Zaire over the week-end and met President Mobuto in an effort to improve relations between the neighbouring states which have been strained over the past few months. But the talks held between the two leaders on Sunday (20 August) have helped reconcile their two countries.
SYNOPSIS: The conciliatory tone of the visit by President Neto was set even before his arrival. The Zairian government of President Mobuto Sese Seko had already announced that the two leaders were determined to consolidate their ties of friendship. President Neto walked into an atmosphere of friendship, in contrast to the animosity of only three months ago. The welcome by a small girl signified the changed relationship.
The moves towards better relations follows the extreme tension between the countries last May, when Zaire accursed Angola of assisting rebel invasion of Zaire's southern province of Shaba. The rebels were based in Angola, but the Angolan government denied any involvement in the invasion. The elaborate welcome included a choir, confirming the new concert between the leaders. They both avoided public reference to the Shaba invasion.
President Mobuto's Presidential yacht on the Zaire River provided a relaxing and private venue for the leaders to resolve their differences. They sealed their new neighbourly friendship by agreeing to set up joint border control commission and to exchange refugees, they said their main concern was for Southern Africa and Apartheid. President Mobuto already plans to make a return visit to Angola.