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African participation in Commonwealth games



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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

No. M24 Date 2 March 1982

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JP"w·· 1■ NEWS RELEASE THE HON. TONY STREET. M.P.

AFRICAN PARTICIPATION IN COMMONWEALTH GAMES

The M i n i s t e r fo r Foreign A f f a i r s / the Hon Tony S tr e e t MPz

today noted reports th a t the President of the Supreme Council f o r Sport in A f r i c a / Mr Abraham O r di a/ had said th a t Af ri c a n Commonwealth countries would boycott the Commonwealth Games i f New Zealand a t t e n d s . Mr Ordia had been speaking in Zurich a f t e r his attendance at the OAU

Council of M i n i s te rs Meeting in Addis Ababa.

Mr S tr e e t said th a t he had w r i t t e n to the Chairman of the OAU

Council Meeting l a s t Tuesday (23 February) when i t had become c le a r th a t the question of A fri c a n attendance at the Games was to be discussed t h e r e . He had put A u s t r a l i a ' s view to Commonwealth rep re s e nt a tiv e s at the Addis meeting th a t to boycott the Games would harm the Commonwealth/ and could undermine community support in A u s t r a l i a f o r the Government's

p o l i c y on sp orting contacts with South A f r i c a . The Au s tr a lia n

Government expects t h a t these views w i l l be c a r e f u l l y considered by Commonwealth A fri c a n (and othe r) countries as they weigh t h e i r decision on p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the Games. In t h i s context Mr S tr e e t noted tha t

the Statement issued by the Foreign M i n i s te rs of the Commonwealth Afr ic an countries did not s p e c i f i c a l l y c a l l f o r a boycott but i n d ic a te d tha t

i f New Zealand p a r t i c i p a t e s African countries would have to reconsider t h e i r p o s i ti o n on attendance.

Mr S tr e e t r e f e r r e d to news reports of the tour of South A f r i c a

by a group of English c r i c k e t e r s and condemned t h i s c le a r breach of the s p i r i t of the Gleneagles Agreement and wider i n t e r n a t i o n a l agreements opposing sporting contacts with South A f r i c a . In t h i s context he noted

the comments of both the Test and County Cr icket Board in England and the B r i t i s h M i n i s t e r of Sp or t/ r e g r e t t i n g the t o u r . .