NATION : 100 in House Ask Bush to Not Meet Leader of South African Party
More than 100 members of the House asked President Bush in a letter released today not to meet South African National Party leader F. W. De Klerk unless the Pretoria government relaxed its apartheid policies.
The letter said the South African government should release anti-apartheid political prisoners, terminate the state of emergency now in its fourth year, lift restrictions on leaders of extra-parliamentary organizations and lift bans on all political organizations.
Secretary of State James A. Baker III met South African President Pieter W. Botha in Rome last May and extended a general invitation for De Klerk, his probable successor in elections next September, to visit the United States. U.S. officials said there was no planning under way for a meeting between Bush and De Klerk.
The letter, signed by House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt and Democratic Party Whip William H. Gray III and 100 other members, said it was understood De Klerk might visit the United States in the near future.