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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1975

MEETING TRANSCRIPT, KISSINGER AND BREZHNEV DISCUSS ANGOLA IN MOSCOW

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Kissinger questions Brezhnev about Cuban involvement in Angola and asks if the Cubans will withdraw if the South Africans do. Brezhnev gives no definitive answers.
    "Meeting Transcript, Kissinger and Brezhnev Discuss Angola in Moscow," 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Kissinger Transcripts, Item 10: Discussion in Moscow, National Security Archive. Included in "Southern Africa in the Cold War, Post-1974," edited by Sue Onslow and Anna-Mart Van Wyk. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118165
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Brezhnev: Dr Kissinger, you know what’s here? A map of our attack on the United States. (He shows the map on the wall behind the curtain.

Kissinger: Of course. From Angola! [Laughter].

Brezhnev: Don’t mention that word to me. We have nothing to do with that country. I cannot talk about that country.

[Brezhnev then moved away and Gromyko and Amb. Stoessel came up to talk with the Secretary].

Kissinger: The Cubans were in Angola before the South Africans entered. We asked you a question: if the South Africans withdrew, would the Cubans withdraw?

Gromyko: We have nothing to do with that, We have given some equipment to the legitimate government—that’s all.

Kissinger: You transport the Cubans in your planes. They are chartered Soviet planes.

Gromyko: What planes are you talking about? The ones which transported equipment? We have sent no troops.

Amb. Stoessel: No, the Soviet planes used to transport Cuban troops to Angola.

Gromyko: (avoiding a direct answer) The South Africans are still there. They make no move to leave.

Kissinger: The South Africans are in the process of withdrawing.

Gromyko: If this is announced, we will react to it.

Kissinger: I wish to tell you in all seriousness that we can never accept 8,000 Cuban troops in Angola.

[As the meeting closes, Kissinger makes one last effort to put Angola on the table; he even makes threats, but Brezhnev does not take the bait].