Angolan Foreign Minister Afonso van Dunem Mbinda said here this weekend that his country will no longer have any direct contacts with the U.S. government for the purpose of discussing a peace settlement in southern Africa.
In mid-March, the Marxist Angolan government, furious about the Reagan administration's decision to provide military aid to anticommunist rebels, called on U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to take over as chief mediator in the stalled southern Africa peace talks.
At the time, it remained unclear whether or not Angola was ruling out completely any further negotiating role for the United States. Reagan administration officials then suggested that the private Angolan position might be less categoric than the official one.
But Mbinda, in an interview Saturday, said flatly that "we are no longer going to have direct negotiations with the United States of America. We will play our role, make our contribution, directly through the secretary general of the United Nations."
Asked about a report that he has refused to meet with Chester A. Crocker, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Mbinda replied, "I don't think there is any need to have any contact."
Mbinda also indicated that the issue of the withdrawal of the estimated 35,000 Cubans in Angola -- long sought in unsuccessful U.S.-led mediation efforts -- was no longer a part of the negotiations, which he said now concern only the holding of U.N.-sponsored elections in South African-administered Namibia.
The Reagan administration, which in 1981 took over the role of chief western mediator between Angola and South Africa, had sought to tie the issue of a Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola to a Namibian independence settlement. In 1984, Angola accepted this "linkage," but Mbinda said that now that the United Nations was in charge of the negotiations, "the question of linkage is no longer there."
He said Angola hoped that the U.S. government would put pressure on South Africa now to go ahead with elections under U.N. supervision "without conditions" and without bringing in "extraneous issues" such as the withdrawal of Cuban troops.
Mbinda, a member of the 11-man Politburo of Angola's ruling party, was here for a special U.N. session on Africa's economic difficulties.
The Angolan government has avoided meeting with U.S. officials twice recently. The first time was in March, when then-Deputy Assistant Secretary Frank G. Wisner toured southern Africa but received no invitation to visit Angola.
Mbinda said renewed incursions by South Africa into southern Angola, and its raids on three neighboring black countries last month, had further complicated prospects for a peaceful settlement to the conflicts in southern Africa.