British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington hinted strongly today that Britain would go ahead very soon with a settlement on Zimbabwe-Rhodesia with or without the Patriotic Front guerrillas.
At the same time, however, he unveiled more inducements in the British plan for a transition to independence to gain the Front's acceptance at the two-month-old settlement talks.
Carrington told the House of Lords, which is debating legislation enabling Britain to end Rhodesia's 14 years of illegal independence, that the plan, already accepted by the 'salisbury government of Bishop Abel Muzorewa, "is the best we can negotiate."
In language obviously aimed at the Front, he said the talks had reached "a critical point," that nothing would be achieved "by delaying the moment of decision" and "there can be no turning back."
Hinting at the possibility of a separate deal with Muzorewa, Carrington said although Britain wanted a settlement involving both warring sides, "if this is not attainable, we cannot allow the best to become the enemy of the good."
His inducements to the front involved a guarantee of equal treatment of the opposing military forces during the cease-fire still to e negotiated and the possibility that a Comonwealth cease-fire monitoring force could stay on for a while after the elections to help ensure stability.