Remarks of President Reagan and President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia Following Their Meetings

March 30, 1983

President Reagan. Well, it's been our pleasure to welcome to the White House President Kenneth Kaunda of the Republic of Zambia. President Kaunda is no stranger to this house, nor to the people of the United States. As one of Africa's senior and most respected statesmen, he plays an admirable role in international events.

Our talks today covered a broad range of shared concerns and were conducted with the same cordiality and mutual respect which characterizes the relations between our two countries.

I welcomed this opportunity to discuss personally with President Kaunda the vital issue of Namibia. As the leader of one of the frontline states, his counsel and his experience are highly valued during these crucial negotiations. We share a common commitment for the prompt implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 and look forward to the day when we can celebrate a free and independent Namibia.

Mr. President, we also recognize and applaud your tireless efforts for peace and regional stability in Africa. Your special attention to African unity and to the organization that gives concrete expression to that concept is greatly admired here. The Organization of African Unity is indispensable to the pursuit of stability and development throughout Africa.

I know that your own country, Zambia, is suffering severe economic hardship as a result of the depressed prices of your primary export commodities. The United States itself is now emerging from a long period of economic uncertainty. We are convinced that our recovery will lead to a healthier world economy and should strengthen demand for Zambian and other producers' minerals.

In the meantime, we support the emphasis that you're placing on developing the agricultural sector of your economy. We're proud to have cooperated with you in that development. Our strong bilateral relationship will be maintained and will evolve as we continue to work together.

I understand that you will be conferring with a wide variety of people during your stay here in Washington. I'm certain they will benefit, as I have, from your views on our bilateral relationship as well as on regional and global issues.

It's a pleasure, Dr. Kaunda, to have you as our guest in the United States of America. It's been a great pleasure.

President Kaunda. I am delighted to have this opportunity to express, on behalf of my delegation and on my own behalf, our profound gratitude to President Reagan for inviting me to visit the United States at this time. It is a pleasure to be here once again.

We appreciate immensely the warm hospitality which the President and his people have accorded us since our arrival in this beautiful city yesterday. The friendly reception which has been given to us is a reflection of the good relations which happily exist between our two countries and peoples.

I want to particularly thank the President for the discussions which have just ended. These have gone on very well. We have covered a wide range of issues, including Zambia-U.S. relations, southern Africa, the Middle East, and world peace and security. We are both happy at the state of our bilateral relations, which are warm. Both President Reagan and I recognize the need to continue to consolidate and strengthen the ties that exist between our two countries, for we believe that it is in the interests of our countries to develop further these relations.

As might have been expected, our discussions on problems of South Africa and Namibia were extensive. We share an abhorrence of the apartheid system which is being practiced in South Africa. We are both of the view that an early end to this system will be good for peace, stability, and rich harmony in the southern African region.

On Namibia, I have explained to President Reagan how we in Zambia see the solution to the problem in that country. I have also listened very carefully to President Reagan's views on the problem. We both believe that this is a serious problem to which an early solution is imperative. We agree that the basis of the solution to this problem should be Resolution 435 of the United Nations Security Council. In this connection, we have agreed that our two countries should continue to consult each other on these problems.

We also had occasion to exchange views on the problem in the Middle East and the Arab Gulf States. We are concerned about the continuing absence of peace and stability in the area. We hope that solutions can be found that can lead to durable peace and security in that important area of the world.

Let me once again thank you, Mr. President, for the generous hospitality which you have extended to us. I hope that the discussions we have had will form a strong foundation on which to build our future relations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Reagan spoke at 1:22 p.m. to reporters assembled on the South Lawn of the White House.

Earlier, the two Presidents met in the Oval Office and then held a working luncheon, together with Zambian and U.S. officials, in the Residence.