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Belgium Refuses Visas, Other Nations Urge End To Apartheid

August 22, 1985

Undated (AP) _ Canada’s premiers condemned South Africa’s racial policies Wednesday, and a Belgian official said his country refused entry visas for 12 South African scientists who wanted to attend a nuclear technology conference.

At the United Nations, the United States and Britain pushed through amendments weakening a resolution attacking apartheid, but joined other Security Council members in condemning South Africa for not lifting a state of emergency imposed July 21.

The Canadian premiers, attending their annual conference in St. Johns, Newfoundland, discussed launching a national boycott of South African liquor. But they decided each province would act independently instead, said Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford, the conference chairman.

South African wine and spirits are banned from liquor stores in five provinces.

Peckford said the premiers abhor apartheid, the South African system of racial segregation under which 5 million whites rule 24 million blacks. But he said the premiers feel any national trade sanctions should be imposed by the federal government.

Canada has already announced limited trade sanctions against South Africa and last week temporarily recalled its amabassador to Pretoria.

Belgian government spokesman Frans Van Daele said in Brussels that the 12 scientists were told last month they would not be allowed in Belgium for the conference, which started last week and runs through Friday.

He gave no official reason, but government sources who asked not to be identified said the move was clearly linked to the situation in South Africa, where violence has taken more than 600 lives in the past year, and a state of emergency has been in effect for a month.

The 15-nation Security Council’s latest condemnation of South Africa’s crackdown on black protesters was in a so-called presidential statement, the weakest form of council action.

Under U.S. and British pressure, the final version omitted a paragraph urging nations to impose economic sanctions against South Africa in keeping with a council resolution adopted July 26 calling for an end to the state of emergency.

The compromise condemned ″the Pretoria regime for its continued failure to heed the repeated appeals by the international community ... and in particular the demand made in (the July) resolution for the immediate lifting of the state of emergency.″

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres met in Jerusalem with Mangusotho Gotsha Buthelezi, the moderate chief of South Africa’s largest black tribe, the Zulus.

Peres said Israelis would ″pray for equal rights and coexistence″ in South Africa, and pledged that Israel would exert diplomatic pressure to urge an end to apartheid.

South Africa’s Jewish community includes important contributors to Israel, and Israel also does millions of dollars of trade annually with South Africa.

In Bonn, West Germany, West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher urged the South African government in an interview with the ZDF national television network to start talks with black anti-apartheid leaders.

Apparently ruling out economic sanctions, Genscher said the Bonn government had ″no other possibilities at its disposal″ than to ″conduct a critical dialogue″ with the South African regime. South Africa is one of West Germany’s biggest trade partners.

In Oslo, Norway at least six of the city’s 30 local radio stations are not playing records by artists who have performed in South Africa from 1981 to 1984, a spokesman for one of the stations said Wednesday.

Editor Roy Hovdan of Radio Motor, which is operated by the Norwegian Automobile Federation, said his station started a boycott on Tuesday. ″At least five other local radio stations in Oslo are engaged in a similar boycott,″ he said.

The radio stations involved are low-powered stations with extremely limited broadcasting range.

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