In Malta on Wednesday (1 February), talks between Britain, the United States and Rhodesia's black nationalist guerrilla leaders ended with some signs of progress but with no agreement on basic issues.
SCU PAN: British Foreign Secretary David Owen leaving conference in Rabat, Malta.
SV: US United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr Owen at news conference.
SCU: Dr Owen speaking in English (to 29 feet) followed by Mr Young.
SV: Patriotic Front leaders Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe leaving for lunch.
SV: Mugabe (left) and Nkomo at news conference.
SV: Mugabe speaking in English
OWEN: "I think it is true to say that one of the main problems has been the powers of the Resident Commissioner, and the balance of power and influence in the transitional period. And a discussion of how you can form a council which will reflect both the necessity for the Resident Commissioner to have in areas of authority and yet preserve a fairness and balance. That's certainly been an area."
YOUNG: "And I would say that there might even have been interest in a UN role. I distinguished that, however, from a peacekeeping force which I think there has been no agreement but I think General Chand made a very lucid explanation of ways in which UN peacekeeping forces have learned to work in situations."
MUGABE: "We are still discussing a lot of matters. obviously there are varying viewpoints on some of these issues but we have all accepted some role for the United Nations."
REPORTER: "Do you feel that these talks have been more worthwhile than the Geneva ones?"
MUGABE: "Yes certainly. I think they have been more fruitful and more positive. We were quite clear; we came with definite schemes which we submitted for consideration by the other party and in our view they have managed to make a very useful basis for further negotiation."
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Background: In Malta on Wednesday (1 February), talks between Britain, the United States and Rhodesia's black nationalist guerrilla leaders ended with some signs of progress but with no agreement on basic issues. The three day talks were to discuss Anglo-American proposals for a Rhodesian settlement. Under their plan, Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith would step down and hand over to a British Resident Commissioner who would have full powers to run the country in an interim period, supported by a United Nations force. At the talks the Nationalist leaders, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, objected strongly to the proposed absolute powers of the Resident Commissioner and to the presence of U.N. troops.
SYNOPSIS: The British Foreign Secretary, David Owen, was first to leave the talks, after a news conference with the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young.
Although Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe remained opposed to a United Nations force, on the last day of the talks, conference sources said they were more flexible. They also did not feel the talks had been wasted.