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Cablegate: Botswana Newspaper Carries Article Misrepresenting

R 091530Z JAN 85
FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2134
INFO AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMCONSUL CAPETOWN
AMEMBASSY HARARE
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM

UNCLAS GABORONE 0097

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE

DEPT FOR AF/S - MS. BLACKFORD; CAPETOWN FOR EMBASSY; DEPT
PASS TO USIA/AF - WALSH

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV US SF BC
SUBJECT: BOTSWANA NEWSPAPER CARRIES ARTICLE MISREPRESENTING
U.S. SOUTHERN AFRICAN POLICY

1. (U) THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED BOTSWANA DAILY NEWS (JANUARY 8,
1985) CARRIED A LONG VERBOSE OVERVIEW OF 1984, THE "ORWELLIAN"
YEAR ("VIOLENCE AND DISASTER, A GLEAM OF HOPE") CREDITED TO DEREK
INGRAM OF GEMINI NEWS SERVICE. ONE PARAGRAPH MISREPRESENTS
ONE FACET OF CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.

2. (U) NINE PARAGRAPHS OF THE FULL-PATE ARTICLE DEAL WITH
"AFRICA'S MOST DRAMATIC POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS" IN SOUTHERN
AFRICA, AND TOUCH ON SOUTH AFRICA'S CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES,
ITS RELATIONS WITH ITS NEIGHBORS AND THE RENEWED ATTEMPT TO
CREATE "A BUFFERS REGION OF SUBDUED OR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORING
STATES," BLACK UNIONS AND THE VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICAN TOWN-
SHIPS, AND BISHOP DESMOND TUTU'S CONDEMNATION OF U.S.
SOUTHERN AFRICAN POLICY. THE OFFENDING PARAGRAPH
READS QUOTE THE AMERICANS ARE CLOSELY INVOLVED IN MANY OF THESE
MOVES IN A POLICY (OF) "CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT" AND ANOTHER
PLANK OF THAT POLICY IS FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO TRY TO MAKE
NKOMATI-TYPE AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER NEIGHBORS, NOTABLY BOTSWANA,
LESOTHO, AND SWAZILAND. THEY HAD SUCCEEDED IN SWAZILAND,
BUT THE OTHER TWO PROVED MORE STUBBORN. BOTSWANA SAYS NO. END QUOTE

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3. (LOU) DRAWING ON EXISTING GUIDANCE, EMBASSY PLANS
TO SEND THE FOLLOWING LETTER OVER THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAO TO
THE EDITOR OF THE BOTSWANA DAILY NEWS: QUOTE: IN HIS "VIOLENCE
AND DISASTER, A GLEAM OF HOPE," WHICH APPEARED IN THE BOTSWANA
DAILY NEWS OF JANUARY 8, 1985, MR. DEREK INGRAM WRITES THAT ON
"PLANK" OF THE U.S. POLICY OF "CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT" IS
"FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO TRY TO MAKE NKOMATI-TYPE AGREEMENTS WITH
OTHER NEIGHBORS, NOTABLY BOTSWANA, LESOTHO, AND SWAZILAND."
THIS IS A MISSTATEMENT OF U.S. POLICY. THE POLICY
OF "CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT" INCLUDES AN EFFORT TO REDUCE
CROSS-BORDER VIOLENCE BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND ITS NEIGHBORS.
IN THE CASE OF THE NKOMATI ACCORD BETWEEN MOZAMBIQUE AND SOUTH
AFRICA, WE WELCOMED THE AGREEMENT AS A TURNING POINT AWAY
FROM THE DESTABILIZING POLITICS OF CONFRONTATION IN SOUTHERN
AFRICA, IN FAVOR OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH OF NEGOTIATIONS.
FOR THOSE TWO COUNTRIES, A FORMAL POLITICAL AGREEMENT MET THE
NEEDS OF BOTH PARTIES. HOWEVER, AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF
STATE CHESTER CROCKER HAS SAID, "THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS NOT
PARTY TO ANY EFFORT TO IMPOSE A STANDARD FORMULA ON
RELATIONS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND ITS NEIGHBORS. EACH
RELATIONSHIP IS DISTINCT AND STANDS ON ITS OWN MERITS.
COEXISTENCE CAN TAKE MANY FORMS. WHAT WE DO SUPPORT IS A REGIONAL
CLIMATE OF DIALOGUE WHICH GIVES NEGOTIATON AND PEACEFUL
CHANGE A CHANCE." THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THE RIGHT
OF EACH OF SOUTH AFRICA'S NEIGHBORS TO MAKE ITS OWN
DECISION ABOUT THE TYPE OF ARRANGEMENTS IT WISHES TO MAKE WITH
SOUTH AFRICA ON THE BASIS OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY
AND STRICT RECIPROCITY. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT BELIEVES
THAT NO COUNTRY SHOULD BE FORCED TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT WHICH
IT VIEWS AS CONTRARY TO ITS NATIONAL INTERESTS. END QUOTE


MAINO

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