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National Archives

Public Papers - 1990

Statement on Namibian Independence

1990-03-21

The independence of Namibia today marks the end of colonialism in Africa and a proud beginning for the world's newest country. Americans can take pride in the role the United States played in making this transition to independence possible. Brought about in large measure by vigorous American diplomacy, the 1988 Brazzaville protocol and the New York accords cleared the way to Namibian independence and the withdrawal of all Cuban troops from Angola.

I have sent Secretary of State Baker to Windhoek as my representative at Namibia's independence ceremonies as a sign of the respect and esteem in which we hold the world's newest democracy. Secretary Baker carries the good wishes of all Americans to President Sam Nujoma and the Namibian people. We are especially gratified that Namibia's Constituent Assembly has produced a constitution that is among the most democratic in Africa and which provides an excellent basis to ensure national harmony and development.

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Namibia today, and we will take the necessary steps to exchange Ambassadors as quickly as possible. We welcome Namibia as a full trading partner and are taking steps to ensure that it is given access to the American market. With the end of South Africa's administration, all U.S. sanctions against Namibia are being lifted.

From this promising beginning, we look forward to a warm and productive relationship with Namibia.

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