February 17, 1997 in Nation/World

Gore Meets Mandela, Tutu

Compiled From Wire Services

Vice President Al Gore saw the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, introduced the country’s first Peace Corps volunteers, and discussed “everything under the sun” with Desmond Tutu on the second day of his South African visit Sunday.

Gore, on a visit to cement close ties between the two countries, met separately Sunday with President Mandela and retired archbishop Tutu, both Nobel Peace Prize winners.

“We began with a prayer,” Gore said of the meeting with Tutu. “We laughed a lot. Along with that we discussed everything under the sun.”

Accompanied by his wife, Tipper, Gore later visited Robben Island prison, Where former political prisoners, including Mandela, were incarcerated.

“What they lived through is unbelievable. Their inspiration goes beyond the borders of South Africa,” Gore said.

The relationship between the United States and South Africa has come under strain recently because of a possible South African arms sale to Syria.

If South Africa sells arms to Syria, the United States has said it would suspend economic aid packages. Tension seemed to ease when South Africa said it would consult with Washington before any decision was made on the sale.

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