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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
President Nelson Mandela

Press Availability, Presidential Residence
Pretoria, South Africa, December 13, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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PRESIDENT MANDELA: I donít have to introduce the United States Secretary of State. It was important for her to meet the Deputy President because, as I told her just now, Iíll soon be saying to him "my President". He is the man who is already in control of current issues, and I play a ceremonial roll, and I am very happy to meet Secretary Albright. It was really a courtesy visit because discussions of serious content were what she had with Deputy President Thabo Mbeki this morning. Would you like to say anything more?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I actually thought we said a few serious things. Itís a great honor for me to meet with President Mandela, a man of such incredible wisdom, and to have the opportunity to again talk with him about the importance of our partnership with South Africa, because without him, it would never have been possible to have such a partnership with this great country. I stand in the presence of one of the giants of our century--and it is a great honor, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT MANDELA: You are very kind to an old man.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Will we be seeing President Clinton here next year?

PRESIDENT MANDELA: Oh, we are looking forward to that. As I pointed out to the Secretary, both before he became president and after he became president, he has been supportive of the anti-apartheid struggle in this country and he is equally supportive of the transformation that has taken place, and he has helped us as a country, and he has helped me personally, tremendously and I therefore look forward to his visit, when we will have the opportunity of thanking him directly for his support.

[End of Document]

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