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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1980

SOVIET BRIEFING ON THE NEED TO COUNTER-BALANCE YUGOSLAV ENDEAVORS CONCERNING THE AFGHAN QUESTION IN THE NON-ALIGNED COUNTRIES

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    This document provides an assessment of Yugoslavia’s policy regarding non-aligned countries. The Soviet Union analyses how to counter-balance the non-alignment movement with its foreign policy. The topic of non-interference in internal political matters, and the opinion of Ghana, Kuwait, and India regarding Soviet involvement in Afghanistan are discussed.
    "Soviet briefing on the need to counter-balance Yugoslav endeavors concerning the Afghan question in the non-aligned countries," 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives of Hungary (MOL), M-KS 288 f. 11. Translated for CWIHP by Attila Kolontari and Zsofia Zelnik. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112499
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The meetings of our ambassadors in the non-aligned countries to counter-balance the Yugoslav endeavors concerning the Afghan question

The ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed some of our ambassadors working in important non-aligned countries to tell the ministry of foreign affairs in the receiving country that they had received news saying that some countries of the movement of non-alignment made an initiative to summon a conference of foreign ministers or a session of the Coordination Bureau to discuss the Afghan question. Without interfering in the internal affairs of non-aligned countries, we would like to call attention to the fact that in the present situation such conferences would serve the interests of imperialism and most of all, of the United States. The countries of the movement of non-alignment cannot have an interest in the USA drawing the movement into an anti-Soviet confrontation by her general campaign against easing. We must see that the security of the central-Eastern area is threatened the most directly by the USA's political plans and steps: its anti-Arab politics, its arms transportation, preparations for intervention. The discussion of the Afghan question would distract the movement's attention from its real interests, it would break up its anti-imperialist unity and ability to act. In his electoral speech Leonid Brezhnev put forward a realistic and acceptable suggestion about doing away with the tension surrounding Afghanistan.

Our ambassadors, acting on the basis of the above instruction report the following about the reactions:

Our ambassador to Algeria was informed by the Cuban ambassador to Algeria about the fact that Yugoslavia had been the first to request Cuba officially: that the Coordination Bureau should discuss and take up a position concerning the question of "non-interference in internal affairs". After Cuba's definite refusal, the Yugoslav side urged Algeria to bring up the question repeatedly. Algeria did so but Cuba refused again to discuss the question.

According to the report of our ambassador to Hanoi, the Vietnamese ministry of foreign affairs knows that, during his latest visits to Bangladesh and India, the Yugoslav foreign minister suggested a similar idea but he met with no support. The Indian side also informed the Vietnamese ministry of foreign affairs about the fact that the Indian government did not approve of the discussion of either the Afghan or the Cambodian situation at the conference commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Bandung conference to be held at the same place and urged by Yugoslavia.

In the ministry of foreign affairs of Ghana, our ambassador received the information that the Yugoslav side had not officially suggested the summoning of the conference of foreign ministers of the non-aligned or the Coordination Bureau because of the strained international situation and the threats to the movement. Ghana did not approve of this idea approved of, as far as it knew, by several America-friendly non-aligned countries. Ghana thinks that in this question the Indian position should be followed. - According to information received by our ambassador, the USA's ambassador to Accra tries to influence the foreign minister of Ghana to make him change his position and accept the Yugoslav position.

Our ambassador to Djakarta was given a definite statement in the Indonesian ministry of foreign affairs: Indonesia has not been approached with this idea and they do not have any information about the fact that any member of the movement of non-alignment would deal with the preparation of such action. Our ambassador to Baghdad received the same information in the Iraqi ministry of foreign affairs. Here they also underlined that Iraq had understood in time the endeavors of the USA and of imperialism in the area and now the president mobilized the Arab countries by announcing a Chart against the USA's near-East policy and the Egyptian-Israeli private agreement.

The accredited foreign minister of Kuwait told our ambassador that at present there was no specific plan of the summoning of the foreign ministers of non-aligned countries or the session of the Coordination Bureau. Kuwait agrees to take such a step only if the conference does not become an anti-Soviet forum and discusses only the plan of development and what role the movement may play in it. Kuwait does not approve of mentioning "interference", for which "there are more serious examples in the world". They emphasize putting an end to the presence of foreign troops without naming the Soviet Union.

Kuwait carries on vivid consultations about the Afghan question with both the Western and the non-aligned countries. They think that their position coincides with that of India; therefore they encourage India to be active. As their latest step, they told the English foreign secretary of state that they did not approve of the English suggestion about the neutralization of Afghanistan. Together with India, they consider the most realistic approach to solution that there should be formed a national democratic government in Afghanistan embracing wide layers. The present government having a narrow base cannot achieve national peace. The USA, Pakistan and others have to stop arming up refugees and they should help that all Afghan refugees returned to Afghanistan without arms. Preparing for the event of the fulfillment of the mentioned conditions, the Soviet Union should work out a realistic and detailed schedule for the withdrawal of its troops. According to the foreign minister, in connection with Afghanistan, India will become active first of all in the movement of non-alignment.

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