U.S. Envoy Arrives in Luanda for New Round of Regional Peace Talks
LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Chester Crocker arrived in Angola on Tuesday for talks aimed at bringing peace to war-torn southern Africa, Angola’s state-run news agency said.
Crocker was met in the capital of Luanda by Deputy Foreign Minister Venancio de Moura, according to an ANGOP dispatch monitored in Lisbon.
The report gave no further details of Crocker’s visit, which was not announced by either Angola or the United States. Crocker is Washington’s chief negotiator for the region of southern Africa.
The latest U.S.-Angola peace talks were held in July. Afterward, each nation accused the other of having nothing new to offer in the search for peace in the region.
At the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, information officer Susan Clyde said Crocker stopped in Lisbon on Monday en route to Luanda and met briefly with officials of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry. She said she had no detailed account of Crocker’s Angolan mission.
She said Crocker was accompanied by State Department aides as well as officials of the National Security Council.
Angola cut off talks with the United States early last year after the Reagan administration began supplying aid to rebels fighting Angola’s Marxist government. South Africa also backs the rebels.
The United States is the only major Western power with which Luanda has no formal diplomatic ties.
Luanda agreed to resume peace talks earlier this year and offered an updated version of its 1984 regional peace proposals. Those proposals included the withdrawal from Angola of about 35,000 Cuban support troops in exchange for the withdrawal of South African troops from southern Angola and neighboring South-West Africa.
South Africa and the United States want Angola to send home the Cuban troops before the South African military withdrawal. Angola says it will not withdraw the Cuban troops until South Africa pulls out of South-West Africa.
South-West Africa, also known as Namibia, is a former Germany colony between Angola and South Africa and is administered by South Africa. The United Nations has been calling for South Africa to grant Namibia independence since 1966.