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1st Black U.S. Envoy to South Africa Installed

November 03, 1986|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Edward Perkins was sworn in as the first black U.S. ambassador to South Africa today and said he would make America's "intolerance of racial apartheid" clear to that nation's white minority government.

Perkins said he accepted President Reagan's nomination to the post "as an American who believes we should not stand as cheerleaders on the sidelines of great issues of our time but that we should have the courage to engage ourselves in them."

He also said that as a black, he will have "a special empathy for both the minority and majority in South Africa."

Secretary of State George P. Shultz, in remarks to several hundred people attending the State Department ceremony, noted the "festering debate" over policy toward Pretoria that led to Congress' overriding Reagan's veto and enacting strong economic sanctions against South Africa.

Shultz said "it was the means of our policy, not the end" that was at issue in the defeat for the Administration.

"However much we may have disagreed about tactics," the secretary said, "stronger sanctions against South Africa are now the law of the land and we are implementing that law."

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