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Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Departure Statement
Luanda, Angola, December 12, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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I have had a useful round of meetings here in Luanda, with President dos Santos and with UNITA members who are committed to the Government of National Unity (GURN). I regret that Dr. Savimbi was not able to accept our invitation to meet with me here in Luanda.

The situation here has changed significantly since my last visit almost two years ago. The peace process is now well-advanced: the GURN is in place and thousands of UNITA soldiers have been demobilized.

But as that process nears the time set for its conclusion, not enough has been accomplished. Angola remains a partially divided country. Thousands of UNITA soldiers remain outside the peace process, and the extension of state administration is still incomplete. In short, the provisions of Lusaka have not been fully implemented. And far too many deaths and human rights violations continue on a regular basis.

I told President dos Santos and the UNITA leaders with whom I met today that the United States remains convinced that the vast majority of Angolans and most of the members of both parties want the peace process to succeed. It is in their interest and ours that Angola gain the unity and stability it needs to boost its economy and establish truly democratic institutions.

For that reason, the United States and the international community will continue to stand with those who stand for peace and work to prevent impediments to the process from any side.

That means, as I told both parties today, that Dr. Savimbi and the UNITA leaders who remain outside Luanda can expect only marginalization if they do not move swiftly to comply fully with the Lusaka Protocol, and to work in good faith to build post-Lusaka arrangements.

It also means that atrocities on both sides must cease; that the government must show political flexibility and military restraint; and that both sides must take seriously their responsibility to the people of Angola to make this process work.

Earlier today, I visited a Chevron oil platform off the coast of Cabinda. I was struck by the increasing role of American corporations in bringing investment and creating economic opportunity in Africa. Through President Clinton's Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity, we are looking for more ways to build trade and investment between the United States and all of Africa.

I was reminded that, despite its wrenching poverty, Angola is potentially a rich country. Its people deserve a vastly better standard of living. I saw in dramatic fashion that [it] is a more and more important economic partner of the United States, one from which we import 7 percent of our oil. That percentage is expected to increase substantially in the coming years.

If Angola can consolidate its progress toward peace, it has the physical capital and human resources it needs to build prosperity for its people. And if Angola chooses to be a responsible player in its region, as it should, it can become a major force for regional integration and development.

The United States is committed to helping Angola achieve those goals. The United States Agency for International Development is funding a wide range of non-governmental programs in Angola; and USAID has developed a path-breaking program bringing its expertise together with $4 million to $5 million of Chevron's resources to build infrastructure and improve standards of living for Angolans. And today I am pleased to announce that the United States will provide financing for $20 million in loans to purchase food.

I am optimistic that, as the process of national reconciliation proceeds, the partnership between our two nations will develop apace and prove to be a great benefit to both our peoples.

[End of Document]

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