Cablegate: Media Reaction President Bush's Visit to Africa;

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Talks on Zimbabwe between President George W. Bush and
his South African counterpart, Thabo Mbeki, continue to
dominate editorials in the mainstream newspapers.

2. Under headline "Mbeki has his job cut out" the
independent daily "The Daily News" (07/11) comments:

"By reassuring U. S. A. President George W. Bush and
the whole world that Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
parties are holding talks to find a solution to the
country's deepening crisis, South Africa's President
Thabo Mbeki has assumed a huge responsibility. . .We
have no reason to doubt Mbeki's sincerity in this
difficult task of trying to find a solution to
Zimbabwe's problems. Neither do we have cause to
believe what several other Zimbabweans have
suggested, that Mbeki is a `dishonest broker' and
that he is in it merely to try and buy more time for
his liberation war ally President Robert Mugabe and
his embattled government. In fact, we would be the
first to acknowledge that Mbeki is too intelligent a
man not to see the futility of trying to shield a
dictatorship in this Global Village. And more so,
it should be clear to all concerned, Mbeki included,
that the problems of Zimbabwe cannot be postponed
any further. . . ."

3. Under headline "U. S. President visit exposes MDC
deceit" the government-controlled daily "Chronicle"
(07/11) comments:

"The visit to South Africa this week by American
President George W. Bush was indeed a blessing in
disguise for Zimbabwe. . .The U-turn by the U. S.
President was infact a slap in the face for
opposition Movement for Democratic Change leaders
who looked forward to Mr. Bush exerting pressure on
Mr. Mbeki to act on Harare. . .Mr. Bush, it appears,
is beginning to see reason, probably because of the
meeting with Mr. Mbeki, one of the regional leaders
directly involved in efforts to finding solutions to
the problems facing Zimbabwe. If Mr. Bush's sudden
change of heart is a result of the fact that he now
knows the truth about Zimbabwe, we want to believe
his actions and utterances in the past were because
of ignorance or misinformation. . .Now that Mr. Bush
has confirmed for himself that some of his actions
such as the unpopular `smart sanctions' were based
on half-baked truths, there is need to revisit his
country's foreign policy on Zimbabwe. . .We salute
Mr. Mbeki for remaining firm and resolute in
defending Africa's independence, despite the threats
and intimidation:

4. Under headline "Mbeki stands up to Bush. . .wins" the
pro-government weekly "The Business Tribune" (07/10)

"President George Bush's sojourn in South Africa was
so subdued it was an anti-climax. . .What is
encouraging about the Bush-Mbeki meeting is that
Bush said afterwards now he supported Mbeki. Mbeki
had a lot of detractors of his preferred `quiet
diplomacy' method and Bush was the most vociferous
of them all. His change of stance therefore
indicates that he sees the problem differently and
is encouraging Mbeki to go the way he has always
done. . .Africans ought to learn a lesson from Mbeki
that Africa can stand up to American bully tactics
if it remains forthright in its belief."


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