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West raises pressure on Mobutu for reform

BRUSSELS (Reuter) - The United States, France and Belgium will take tough action against the Zairean President, Mobutu Sese Seko, if he rejects the latest proposals for a new government, the Belgian Foreign Ministry said. But action against President Mobutu by international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank was not expected in the near future, the Belgian Foreign Minister, Willy Claes, said.

Mr Claes, on an official visit to Washington, added: 'It is better to wait because it would be difficult for a new Zairean government to fulfil, after having been penalised, the conditions to benefit again from the IMF's programmes and financial aid . . . I asked for patience and understanding, but sanctions are under consideration, I hope that will be understood at Gbadolite (President Mobutu's residence).'

The Foreign Minister was in Washington to discuss the situation in Zaire with the US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher. The United States, Belgium and France are the three largest aid donors to Zaire, which is a former Belgian colony. In Kinshasa, President Mobutu was yesterday still insisting on the dismissal of Zaire's reformist Prime Minister, Etienne Tshisekedi.