WASHINGTON (Sep. 14)
The State Department said today that a loan for $3 million to Uganda for livestock development was being delayed as a result of the statement made by Uganda President Idi Amin praising Hitler for the murder of six million Jews. Charles Bray, the department spokesman, said another reason was “incidents” affecting American citizens in Uganda recently.
He said “we do not contemplate signing at this time” the loan agreement. However, he said, technical aid funds “now in the pipeline” for more than $2 million would not be disturbed. That aid involves mainly agricultural projects in Uganda.
Bray said again “we deplore statements of this kind” in referring to the telegram praising Hitler sent by Amin to United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim and to Premier Golda Meir. Yesterday Bray called the statement deplorable, if reports about it were accurate. Today he said that “to our knowledge the full text of the telegram has not been released by the Secretary General but I understand the press accounts of it are correct.”
Bray added that “any such description of the Holocaust is deeply shocking and incomprehensible but especially when it comes from a national leader.” He said the department had instructed Ambassador Thomas Melady to raise the contents of the Amin telegram “at the most effective level in the Uganda government.”
He said the American envoy also will probably take up with Ugandan officials difficulties American tourists have been experiencing in Uganda. Asked by the JTA correspondent whether the issue of Amin’s vitriolic telegram would be raised by the US at the UN, Bray replied that the issue would be pursued initially in bilateral channels.