UNITED NATIONS — Angola's foreign minister Wednesday announced direct talks "within the next few days" between the Marxist government and the U.S.-backed UNITA rebels who have fought a decade-long civil war in the southern African nation.
Pedro de Castro Van Dunem told reporters at a breakfast conference that the talks could begin in Portugal, the former colonial power in Angola that he credited with bringing the two sides together. But he said the exact time and place of the talks had not yet been fixed.
"We are convinced that (the talks) will help to find the path to national reconciliation in Angola," Van Dunem said.
But he accused the United States and South Africa of increasing military aid to the rebels led by Jonas Savimbi, despite Washington's and Pretoria's professed backing for negotiations. Of particular concern to the government, he said, is the arrival in Angola of South African advisers, as well as supplies.