A high Zimbabwean official on Wednesday accused the United States of deep-rooted hostility against the Nonaligned Movement, but Singapore said the 101-member group has lost credibility because it constantly attacks Washington while shielding Moscow.
On the third day of a weeklong summit, more than 20 leaders sought to speak, and Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, who took over the chairmanship on Monday, scheduled a nonstop 15-hour session to fit them in, calling speakers to the platform without a break.
The Nonaligned Movement was founded in Yugoslavia in 1961 by 25 nations claiming independence from both the United States and Soviet Union. Members profess to have no binding ties to either Washington or Moscow, but many of the long speeches were filled with anti-American rhetoric.
At a news conference, Zimbabwean Information Minister Nathan Shamuyarira said State Department complaints about anti-Americanism at the summit reflect longstanding U.S. antagonism.
Cites Dulles Position
“From the very beginning, the United States has been against the Nonaligned Movement,” Shamuyarira said. “When the movement was first launched in 1961, (U.S. Secretary of State) John Foster Dulles said nonalignment was immoral. The U.S. position has been consistent.”
The minister shrugged off the State Department’s reaffirmation of a U.S. decision to suspend $20.5 million in aid because of what it considers Zimbabwean rudeness.
The United States had suspended aid after the Zimbabwean government attacked U.S. policies in South Africa during a Fourth of July reception at the U.S. Embassy in Harare. Mugabe has refused to apologize.
“People who give aid are free to decide to withdraw it,” said Shamuyarira. “It’s their money.”
“However, Zimbabwe will not be intimidated into adopting a policy or a posture which is unacceptable to it because of the fear of aid being withdrawn,” the minister said.
Suppiah Dhanabalan, the foreign minister of pro-Western Singapore, compared the Nonaligned Movement to a man “who condemns murder in one case and condones it in another.”
“Our movement has been concerned with superpower pressure in Central America. But we will look in vain in the many volumes of documents produced by our movement for even a mention of the occupation of a nonaligned country by a superpower (the Soviet Union) in Afghanistan,” he said.
“By using our weapon only selectively, we have destroyed its effectiveness,” Dhanabalan said. “Our movement will have little credibility.”
Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi arrived at the conference center in flowing white robes and was accompanied by about 50 Libyan demonstrators who shouted “Down with (President) Reagan, down with (British Prime Minister Margaret) Thatcher!”
The Harare summit was Kadafi’s first known foreign appearance since the United States bombed Libya last April 15 after accusing Kadafi of instigating international terrorism.
The demonstrators who accompanied Kadafi to the conference center were his disarmed bodyguards, said a Zimbabwean official who spoke on condition of anonymity. They turned out again when Kadafi left for lunch.
In Uganda, the government announced that Kadafi will visit that East African nation today, leaving the Harare summit with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Burkina Faso’s military ruler, Capt. Thomas Sankara.
Kadafi Backs Chad Rebels
In a Zimbabwean television interview Wednesday, Kadafi reiterated a pledge to support rebels in the African state of Chad and help train guerrillas seeking to overthrow the South African government.
In Washington, meanwhile, State Department spokesman Charles Redman rejected an assertion by Cuban President Fidel Castro that Cuba has a right to maintain troops in Marxist Angola.
Castro told the summit Tuesday that Cuba would keep its troops in Angola as long as there is apartheid in South Africa. Cuba has stationed about 25,000 troops in Angola for the last 10 years.