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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 24, 1981

SOVIET POSITION ON THE DECLARATION OF THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT

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    This statement demonstrates the DRA's focus to participate in international affairs. The DRA commits itself to the policy of non-alignment, while discussing possible settlements of the situation in Afghanistan which involve the United Nations.
    "Soviet position on the Declaration of the Afghan Government," August 24, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP archive. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112497
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The summons of 24 August of the DRA government concerning political settlement met with positive reactions in several Asian countries, including India, where the summons was regarded as the manifestation of the constructive position of the DRA.

At the same time, in the USA, other Western states, those Asian countries where conservative regimes are in a ruling position and in China, efforts are made to keep the summons of the DRA a secret or to make it look like as if it did not contain anything new.

Related to this and the fact that the so-called "Afghan question" was put on the agenda of the 36th session of the UN General Assembly, the actions supporting the summons of 24 August of the DRA government must be continued.

With the new summons, the DRA government demonstrates its readiness to take into consideration the real situation and those additional circumstances that have appeared recently in connection with the political settlement concerning Afghanistan. Observing the basic principles of the summons of 14 May 1980 about political settlement, the DRA government has made a whole series of changes.

Enough to consider the question of talks with her neighbors suggested by the DRA. The new summons expresses readiness not only to carry on talks separately with Pakistan and Iran - although this suggestion seems still to be the more advantageous and promising - but also three-sided talks if Afghanistan's partners consider it more appropriate. The Afghan position is flexible. For example, they point at the fact that the lack of readiness of either of the mentioned countries to start talks must not prevent the dialogue between Afghanistan and the other country or the drafting of related agreements or their later execution. Naturally, the country refraining from carrying on talks at the beginning could later join them and start independent talks with the DRA at a later point.

The DRA's good intentions can be observed also in the fact that, at the talks-either bilateral or three-sided -, she does not oppose the participation of the UN general secretary, or his personal representative.

Further on, the summons specifies the contents of the reliable international guarantees of the future agreements, the main idea of which is the cessation of armed and other interference in Afghan internal affairs and the prevention of their repetition. As far as the DRA is concerned, she is ready to confirm her commitment to peace and the policy of non-alignment, her effort to develop friendly relations with every country, first of all, her neighbors.

The summons also deals with how these guarantees could be elaborated. The discussion of questions concerning the elaboration of guarantees would begin at the same time as the talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and would be carried on parallel to them.


At the beginning arguments could be conducted in the form of non-official many-sided consultations, later at an appropriate international forum. The elaboration of international guarantees and solutions to all other questions concerning Afghanistan may be realized with the definite participation of the DRA government.

The difference between the present suggestion of the DRA and the well-known proposal of the "ten" - about summoning an international conference on Afghanistan - is that the proposal of the "Common Market" - just like all other Western versions of the settlement - sets the interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan as its aim, it wants to put an end to the present system. The suggestions of the DRA government are concerned only with the foreign political aspects of the problem and their starting point is the defense of the sovereign rights achieved by the Afghan people during the April revolution.

The summons dwells in more detail than earlier on the question of the withdrawal from the territory of Afghanistan of the limited contingent of Soviet troops. In case armed inroads and any other forms of interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan ceased and it can be guaranteed that they were not repeated, the reasons would cease that forced Afghanistan to turn to the Soviet Union with the request of inviting the limited contingent of Soviet troops. They point at the fact that the achievement of political settlement - including the elaboration of international guarantees - would make it possible to draw up an agreement concerning the order and deadline of the evacuation of Soviet troops from Afghanistan based on the agreement between the Afghan and the Soviet parties. The evacuation of troops would be carried out to the extent of the realization of the agreements. Thus, the sooner the agreements excluding interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan are born and realized, the quicker the evacuation of Soviet troops will start and finish and the other way round.


We must also notice the readiness of the DRA government present in the summons to discuss other problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan, too, in order to normalize Afghan-Pakistani relations, to ensure stability and peace. At the same time, the DRA government confirms its suggestion about talks with Iran concerning the development of friendly relations between the two countries and the elaboration of an agreement concerning mutually advantageous many-sided cooperation in fields like trade, economy, transportation, cultural relations.

The suggestions described in the summons of 24 August this year of the DRA government represent an undoubtedly important action, which make easier the road leading to the political settlement of the situation that has evolved concerning Afghanistan. This document requires an attentive attitude of those who really wish to normalize the situation in the South-West Asian area and who respect the right of peoples to proceed along the way chosen by themselves without external interference.

Forcing the discussion of the "Afghan question" repeatedly on the UN General Assembly cannot help the cause of political settlement in any way. All this may only distract the General Assembly's attention from the solution of the tasks of the defense of peace and the maintenance of international security facing the UN.

It should be made clear to the representatives of the non-aligned countries that the resolution passed at the 35th session of the UN General Assembly - independently of the motives of the individual countries in voting for it - is used in reality by the forces of imperialism and hegemonism to prevent political settlement and to increase the tension of the whole international situation. The repeated discussion of the so-called "Afghan question" at the current General Assembly - despite the protest of the DRA government - helps only the above-mentioned forces and makes possible their interference in the affairs of a sovereign country citing the UN.