Archive (Reagan Library)

South Africa: Reagan letter to Thatcher (Mozambique) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: Executive Secretariat NSC Head of State File
Editorial comments:

Despatched 1834 GMT 19 May 1987; declassified 30 June 2000.

Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 467 words
Themes: Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Africa), Commonwealth (South Africa), British policy towards South Africa, MT contacts with Ronald Reagan

Declassified S98-101#288
By dIb, NARA, Date 6/30/00


From Frank Carlucci to Charles Powell, Cabinet Office, London

The following message from President Reagan is a reply to the Prime Minister’s message of May 13 concerning Mozambique.

May 19, 1987

Dear Margaret:

Thank you for your message on your meeting with President Chissano and your suggestion that we consider joining you in increasing assistance to the government of Mozambique. Your evaluation of Chissano personally and his policies accords closely with the reports of my people who have met with him since Machel’s death. I am particularly heartened by your impression that Chissano appears to be determined to continue Machel’s turn away from the Soviet Union and toward closer ties with the West. Your decision to give him concrete incentives to stay on this track appears quite logical at this time.

As you know, the question of U.S. policy toward Mozambique is controversial even within my own party. My nomination of a new Ambassador to Mozambique has given Congressional opponents their latest opening to register their desire for a different policy. Your firsthand view of Chissano is therefore most timely, and will make a significant contribution to the debate.

I believe your offer of assistance will be a great help to Mozambique’s efforts to get back on its feet. I am pleased also that we have been able to make a major pledge of $75 million toward meeting the humanitarian emergency in Mozambique. As far as further allocations are concerned, Mozambique would benefit from my five-year Southern Africa regional assistance program for which I have requested an initial appropriation of ninety million dollars. As you know, I am unable to make a commitment for additional assistance until such time as funds are actually voted by the Congress. I will keep you informed.

From what Chissano told you about his attitude toward the insurgencies, it would appear that an early end to the civil war is not likely. This is regrettable because urgent humanitarian problems involving millions of displaced and starving people cannot be fully addressed while the fighting continues. I would hope that all friends of Mozambique will utilize available channels, both official to the FRELIMO Government and unofficial to RENAMO and other insurgent groups, to facilitate an early cessation of hostilities.

On this and other pressing issues in Southern Africa, a strong Western partnership is essential if we are to support moderate forces and prevent Soviet inroads. I look forward to discussing this with you again in the near future.

Warm regards,