EC MINISTERIAL MEETING ON POLITICAL COOPERATION
10 September 1985
Press release: South Africa
The Ministers of the Ten, Spain and Portugal heard the report of the European mission which visited South Africa from 30 August to 1 September 1985.
They noted with satisfaction that this mission had been able to carry out its task, which was to express to the South African Government the grave concern of the Ten, Spain and Portugal at the lack of any specific steps towards abolishing apartheid and at the resulting deterioration of the situation.
The European delegation called for the lifting of the state of emergency, the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Nelson Mandela and the other political prisoners, an end to detention without trial and forced relocation, a firm commitment by the South African Government to end apartheid and to dismantle discriminatory legislation, particularly the pass laws and the Group Areas Act, and lastly real negotiations with the true representatives of the South African people, including those currently in prison.
The European delegation had very useful discussions with representatives of the churches and trade unions, leading businessmen, journalists and leaders of the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), INKATHA and the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO).
To supplement these contacts, on 10 September the President-in-Office of the Council and the Member of the Commission responsible for external relations met representatives of the African National Congress (ANC).
It was on the basis of the information gathered in this way that the Ministers today discussed the policies to be pursued towards South Africa, in particular measures to be taken which should be immediate and harmonized.
The Ten, together with Spain and Portugal, noted that the situation had continued to deteriorate dramatically since their Helsinki meeting.
With regard to the views expressed to the European delegation by the South African authorities on 1 September, the Ministers wish to point out that the objective of the Ten, Spain and Portugal, is the complete abolition of apartheid as a whole and not just of certain components of the system. There can be no such thing as a good and a bad apartheid. They consider that all the citizens of South Africa should enjoy equal rights and that the protection of the minorities must be ensured. To achieve these objectives a genuine dialogue with the representatives of the black population is necessary.
They will therefore pursue their efforts until this has been achieved.
The conclusions which emerge from the visit of the three Foreign Ministers and today’s discussions can be summarized in two points.
1.The Ten, together with Spain and Portugal, take note of the declaration of the South African Government and expect of it that it take specific steps.
2.Meanwhile they will maintain their pressure on South Africa.
The Ten and Spain and Portugal have decided to harmonize their attitudes on the following measures:
-A rigorously controlled embargo on exports of arms and para-military equipment to the RSA.
-A rigorously controlled embargo on imports of arms and para-military equipment from the RSA.
-Refusal to cooperate in the military sphere.
-Recall of military attachés accredited to the RSA, and refusal to grant accreditation to military attachés from the RSA.
-Discouraging cultural and scientific agreements except where these contribute towards the ending of apartheid or have no possible role in supporting it; and freezing of official contacts and international agreements in the sporting and security spheres.
-Cessation of oil exports to the RSA.
-Cessation of exports of sensitive equipment destined for the police and armed forces of the RSA.
-Prohibition of all new collaboration in the nuclear sector.
-Code of conduct : adaptation, reinforcement and publicity.
-Programmes of assistance to non-violent anti-apartheid organisations, particularly to the churches.
-Programmes to assist the education of the non-white community, including grants for study at the universities in the countries originating the programmes.
-Intensification of contacts with the non-white community in the political, trade union, business, cultural, scientific and sporting sectors, etc.
-Programmes to assist the SADCC and the Front-Line States.
-Programme to increase awareness among the citizens of Member States resident in the RSA.
The question of other measures, including sanctions, remains. As the Ten, together with Spain and Portugal, stated on 22 July of this year, they may have to re-examine their attitude in the absence of significant progress within a reasonable period, and they will assess the situation regularly.
In addition, the departments responsible have been asked to examine the possibility of increasing social and educational assistance from the European Community to the non-white population and to political refugees.
Lastly, the Ministers wish once again to express their grave concern at the spread of violence and the increasing number of casualties in South Africa.
They see these developments as confirmation of the fears and warnings they have been expressing for so long.
There is an urgent need for the South African Government finally to take measures of the kind called for by the European delegation, in order to create a new political climate by opening up a prospect of profound, peaceful change.