African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela called Friday for the lifting of economic sanctions against South Africa, and the world appeared ready to comply.
In a speedy response to the appeal, the White House and Senate moved toward eliminating a web of restrictions on U.S. dealings with South Africa.
The Senate approved legislation lifting U.S. government economic sanctions against South Africa. Canada and the Commonwealth, a group of states with historical links to Britain, also lifted their trade, investment and financial embargos.
President Bill Clinton welcomed the establishment of a multiracial governing council in South Africa.
The Senate's legislation would lift a ban on U.S. support for South African loan requests at the International Monetary Fund and also allows the U.S. government to finance American exports to South Africa.
The House was not in session but is expected to approve similar legislation next week.
Canadian External Affairs Minister Perrin Beatty said after consultations with Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku and other members of the Commonwealth's Committee on Southern Africa, "We agree that the conditions for lifting the remaining Commonwealth sanctions have now been met."
Canada had led the Commonwealth movement to isolate South Africa's economy to end the apartheid system.
In asking for an end to the most potent weapon against apartheid, Mandela said, "The time has come when the international community should lift all economic sanctions against South Africa."
But Mandela said a U.N. embargo on oil and arms sales to South Africa should stay in place until a multiracial government is formed. Elections are scheduled for April 27.
Mandela's appeal means that the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and investors worldwide would be free to extend loans and credits and do business in South Africa. The International Monetary Fund is meeting in Washington.
Those world bankers could help South Africa recover from its longest-ever recession, economic analysts in Johannesburg said Friday.
The analysts said an end to most remaining sanctions, except for those blocking access to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, would be largely symbolic. …