At the United States Mission at United Nations headquarters in New York, top-level talks continued through the weekend on details for Namibian independence.
SV United States Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, with Sam Nujoma, President of the South West African Peoples Organisation, and the Foreign Ministers of France, Britain, West Germany and Canada
SV South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha with other Foreign Ministers (France, Canada, West Germany, U.S.A. and Britain) standing talking
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Background: At the United States Mission at United Nations headquarters in New York, top-level talks continued through the weekend on details for Namibian independence. The talks began at ambassadorial level, but on Saturday (11 February) they were elevated to ministerial level with the arrival of United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, foreign ministers representing the other four Western nations on the Security Council, and Sough Africa's Foreign Minister Pik Botha.
SYNOPSIS: The American Secretary of State Cyrus Vance also met the President of the South West African Peoples Organisation, SWAPO, Sam Nujoma, The other four Security Council members who have been involved in the Namibia independence issue for well over a year are France, Britain, West Germany and Canada. Until now, negotiations have been centred mostly in Southern Africa, but the so-called Big Five Western nations decided in December that the discussions should be stepped up with this top level conference in New York.
The South African Government, which has ruled Namibia since the end of World War One, is being represented by its Foreign Minister Pik Botha. Reporters at the U.N. say the main stumbling block in the current talks is the question of Walvis Bay, the deep-water sea port which Sough Africa wants to retain. SWAPO is adamant that the port is vital to real economic independence for the territory, while South Africa insists that it will not give it up. The conference was scheduled to end on Monday.