Statement by Deputy White House Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes About United States Consultations Concerning Southern Africa

March 31, 1981

Assistant Secretary of State-designate for African Affairs Chester A. Crocker will leave next month for an extensive round of consultations with African governments concerning the problems of southern Africa. He will report to Secretary Haig when he returns.

The President believes it is important to make clear the administration's objectives in southern Africa. The broad objective we seek is to strengthen the security of southern Africa, a region of growing importance to our interests. The United States strongly supports negotiated solutions to the problems of this region. The path of violence serves no one's interest except that of our global adversary. We seek a peaceful solution of the Namibian problem leading to a genuinely independent and democratic Namibia recognized by the international community. To this end, we will work with all interested parties.

This administration intends to maintain and strengthen ties with the states of Africa. We wish to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and all African states. There can be no question of American support for apartheid, which is repugnant to our multiracial and democratic society. We intend to make our views plainly known, not in a spirit of confrontation, but of constructive help.