Lord Carver, the British commissioner-designate for Rhodesia, said today that the Anglo-American proposals for a Rhodesia settlement are still very much alive despite the continuation of talks in Salisbury toward a rival settlement.
"The British government is going ahead and believes it important to keep the momentum in going ahead on the Anglo-American proposals and it is determined to do so," Carver said.
Asked if the talks between Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and internally based Rhodesian black nationalist leaders were an obstacle to the Anglo-American initiative, Carter said that if the talks "are going too much publicity and attention, they distract people's attention away from the fact that the Anglo-American proposals have been put forward, they are on the table and they were being proceeded with."
Both Washington and London believe that any settlement Smith achieves in Salisbury will not end the guerrilla war unless it includes the nationalist leaders based outside the country - Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe of the Patriotic Front.
Carter reiterated this today, saying, "We think any agreement that doesn't involve all the parties concerned in this business is unlikely to be accepted internationally, to be lasting or to bring about to the end."
Carter's reemphasis of this point once again raises the prospect that any independent government coming out of the salisbury talks will not gain U.S. and British recongnition, unless the Patriotic Front leaders are part of it.
[London, the British Foreign Office said British is seeking a new round of talks with leaders of the Patriotic Front aimed at ending the war in Rhodesia. A Foreign Office spokesman said Foreign Secretary David Owen probably would take part in the talks but that no time or place has been set yet.]
Carter met with South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha this morning to exchange views about the Anglo-American proposals. He arrived in Pretoria this morning from Mozambique, where he held talks over the weekend with President Samoa Machel on the Rhodesian issue.
"There is a wide measure of agreement between them and us on the proposals and that includes the importance of making rapid progress in pressing forward on those proposals," Carter said of the talks with Mazambique's leaders.
Carter's remarks today come after Smith made an oblique criticism of the British and American attitudes toward his settlement talks.