• Short Summary

    United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Richard M. Moose, has been having?

  • Description

    SV EXT United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Richard M. Moose leaves plane and is greeted by officials.

    SV INT Newsmen making notes

    SV and SCU Moose seated talking in English to Somali Government representative

    SV PAN Moose and Somali Government representative get up and walk out

    MOOSE: "President Carter is confident that as a result of his discussions with (indistinct), that he will be able to realise, working with President Said Barre and his government, President Carter's objective of making a greater contribution to the peace and stability of the region as whole and to strengthening the ties of friendship between our two nations."

    At a signing ceremony for a new seven-million Dollar US food aid agreement on Monday (20 March), Mr. Moose said: "President Carter wants to think of us (Americans and Somalis) as partners in a constructive efforts to improve the quality of life for all in a framework of security and trust". Mr. Moose's visit followed a flurry contacts between President Siad Barre and other political forces, including the Soviet ambassador, and the foreign minister of non-aligned Yugoslavia. Diplomatic sources said the Americans wanted to make their position quite clear to the Somalis, and offset any possibility that President Siad Barre, who has kept his political options open, will move back to the Soviet camp. Mr Moose, accompanied by a senior Delegation, including a representative of the National Security Council, is not expected to announce steps his country could take in the Horn of Africa. He will report back to President Carter. The food agreement signed by Mr. Moose and Somali Finance Minister Mohamed Yusuf will provide up to seven-million dollars??? worth of food for Somalia by next September, to be paid for within 40 years.

    Initials EP/2130

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Richard M. Moose, has been having talks in Mogadishu with Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre. An American embassy spokesman said on Monday (20 March) that no details were available on the talks, which lasted several hours. Observers, however, had expect ed them to centre on conditions for future US military and economic aid to help Somalia recover from its defeat by Soviet - backed Ethiopia. Diplomatic sources said Washington wanted to provide aid; but there would have to be detailed discussion over President Carter's demand that Somalia should promise not to violate the borders of Ethiopia and Kenya.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Moose arrived in Mogadishu on Saturday (18 March). The visit was seen by diplomats as confirmation of US support for President Siad Barre's government. And this desire to strengthen ties between the two countries was emphasises by Mr. Moose on his arrival.

    Mr. Moose is the most senior United States official to visit Mogadishu since relations between Somalia and Moscow deteriorated last summer, when the Soviet Union backed Marxist Ethiopia.

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