• Short Summary

    United Nations and South African officials have begun talks aimed at breaking the deadlock in negotiations on the independence of South West Africa (Namibia).

  • Description

    GV Swiss airliner taxies into Jan Smuts airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    GV United National Namibian delegation walking from plane.

    SV Mr. Brian Urquhart leader of delegation for Namibia, speaking in English to newsmen.

    GV Government House, Pretoria, members of delegation entering building. (3 SHOTS)

    SV INT Delegation seated around conference table. (3 SHOTS)

    URQUHART:"Understand about this question of impartiality two things: one is that impartiality works both ways. It's a two-way street and I think we all understand that the secondly that some of the activities of some of the organs of the United Nations which are viewed with considerable gloom in Pretoria are to a great extent a product of a felling of frustration and delay. And I think that we all in these talks want to try to find means of getting to a really good climate of impartiality on all sides so that we can get on with this, and as far as we are concerned we are very conscious of our obligations in that regard we shall maintain the position we have always maintained that we have to be impartial and we have to run free and fair elections. But wise have to get to the point where we start and that's what we are going to be talking about in Pretoria."

    Initials JS/

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: United Nations and South African officials have begun talks aimed at breaking the deadlock in negotiations on the independence of South West Africa (Namibia). The talks have come at a critical time with increasing military activity in the disputed territory.

    SYNOPSIS: The United Nations team, led by the Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Brian Urquhart, arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday (18 October).

    They will be hoping to satisfy South Africa's reservations about their impartiality and then to set an agreed peace settlement in motion between South Africa and the South West African People' Organisation (SWAPO) which is waging a guerrilla war in the northern part of the territory.

    The polite phrases of the diplomats mask another reality; the presence of the United Nations team in South Africa is a sign of growing United Nations impatience. The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution describing SWAPO as the sole and authentic representative of the South West African People. The talks are the latest in a three-year-old series of exchanges between the United Nations, south Africa and a five-nation Western "contact group". The South African Government and SWAPO both accept the principle of United Nations-supervised elections leading to an internationally recognised independence. Only the finer points of its implementation need to be resolved. While they are the war that has cost 1200 lives so far this year continues.

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