British Prime Minister, Mr Edward Heath, was informed today (Wednesday) of Nigeria's hostility to the idea of resumed arms sales by Britain to South Africa.
CV Houses of Parliament
SV Sign "Downing Street"
GV Arikpo's car drawn up
SV Arikpo out of car and into NO 10
GV No 10
Initials MF/PNW/ES.17.07 MF/PMW/ES.17.24
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Background: British Prime Minister, Mr Edward Heath, was informed today (Wednesday) of Nigeria's hostility to the idea of resumed arms sales by Britain to South Africa. At a meeting at NO 10, Downing Street, Nigerian Commissioner for External Affairs Dr. Okoi Arikpo repeated the view, held by African opponents to a lifting of the ban on arms sales, that this would bestow a "Certificate of respectability" on South Africa and its apartheid policies.
The meeting, which followed those between Mr Heath and many other Commonwealth leaders, dispelled any lingering ideas that Nigeria would take a relatively soft line on the arms issue.
Nigeria's attitude is partly determined by her belief that South Africa constitutes a direct threat to its own security. Nigeria has long claimed that South Africa played a direct part in sustaining Biafra and would thus consider the sale of arms to the Republic as a directly hostile act.