President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania said in Singapore that Britain had not yet decided to sell arms to South Africa.
GV Press conference (SILENT)
GV Nyerere interviewed (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: NYERERE: "There is not the slightest doubt there are things that people throughout Africa feel very strongly about. The students must be saying just in case. But we are still discussing this matter. The British have not decided to sell arms to South Africa. That is why we are here. We have been discussing. But it is an indication of the kind of emotion this issue raises in Africa."
REPORTER: "Does that, Sir, still mean that Britain can be convinced not to sell arms to South Africa?"
NYERERE: "Well, the whole basis of our discussions with Britain, both before coming here and during the period that we have been here, have been based on the belief that the British can be persuaded. What is the whole idea of having the discussions at all? First of all, I think, one would try to put it in the context of this problem of the sale of arms to South Africa. I think it is quite clear, from the statement that I have made, that there is a near unanimous voice of the Commonwealth opposed to the possible sale of arms to South Africa by Britain. On the other hand Britain, I think rightly, say they have to safeguard what they regard as their national interests. And I think really what one is still hoping can happen is to find out whether it is possible to find a method of safeguarding what Britain regards as her vital interests without selling arms to South Africa."
Initials JON/PMW/BB/2109 JON/PMW/BB/2113
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania said in Singapore that Britain had not yet decided to sell arms to South Africa. He accepted that Britain had to safeguard national interests. But he hoped that a way could be found to do this without the sale of arms to South Africa. Nyerere was speaking at a press conference on the last day of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference in Singapore.