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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 06, 1987

SOVIET MEMORANDUM ON THE PRESENT SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN

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    This document discusses the increasing amount of aid the Soviet Union provided to Afghanistan; how the country must fight against 'imperialist and reactionary' forces, and its efforts to establish a stronger ties to Czechoslovakia in order to further national reconciliation.
    "Soviet Memorandum on the Present Situation in Afghanistan," May 06, 1987, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, State Central Archive Prague, File 02/1, CC CPCz Politburo 1980-1989, 35th Meeting, 6 May 1987, in Slovak. Translated by Todd Hammond and Derek Paton. Obtained by Oldrich Tuma. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113126
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The leadership of the Afghan Democratic Republic attaches special significance to expanding cooperation with socialist countries at a time when the situation there is complicated. For example, some days ago a working meeting between Comrade Najib and diplomatic representatives of socialist countries took place in Kabul. During this meeting, Najib informed the others of Afghan domestic and foreign policy.

In these circumstances, the need for a common approach by socialist countries to aid Afghanistan is becoming more significant. This was discussed at a gathering of Warsaw Pact foreign ministers in Moscow. A new situation, however, has emerged in Afghanistan. A path to national reconciliation has been followed, bloodshed has been curtailed, and a political solution is being sought. The first tangible domestic and foreign policy results have been achieved. Some bands are laying down their arms, refugees are returning, and the international community is taking an active interest in Afghan events.

At the same time we realize that the basic struggle for national reconciliation in Afghanistan still awaits us. The imperialist and reactionary forces cannot reconcile themselves with the pacification of this tense flashpoint and are thus doing all they can to prevent a solution to the Afghan problem. It is sufficient to recall the new supplies of modern weapons to the counterrevolutionaries, the sending of hundreds of millions of dollars, and attempts to stifle discussions between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Geneva. The terror continues and the already weak Afghan economy is being further undermined. Naturally, without the overall support by socialist countries to our Afghan allies, it would be difficult to imagine victory in the struggle for a peaceful, non-aligned, and peaceful Afghanistan. It is obvious that the absence of a solution to the Afghan problem is being used to harm the interests of all socialist countries.

In this trying time for our Afghan comrades, it is crucial that they be firm in their pronouncements so that they can overcome their enemies' attempts to hinder national reconciliation.

Over the last months, the Soviet Union has decided to provide substantial, non-returnable aid to Afghanistan. In fact, Soviet assistance is increasing by several times. Out of humanitarian considerations, the Soviet Union has provided large quantities of basic needs for the poor in Afghanistan as well as for returning refugees. The Soviet side considers this to be important because many ordinary Afghans have lost their property and even the roof over their heads as a result of counterrevolutionary activities. Other significant assistance [is] being prepared for the Afghan people include[ing] education, health care, and the training of national cadres. When taking into account the issue of national reconciliation, great attention is devoted to the private sector and the creation of “mixed” enterprises. Also, significant aid is oriented towards the bolstering of the Afghan armed forces, whose role it will be to safeguard the stability of the national reconciliation process. The Soviet Union is strengthening its political and diplomatic support for Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union appreciates the benefits provided by the solidarity of socialist countries with the Afghan people. In the current situation, it is crucial once again to reconsider possibilities of expanding cooperation.

Concretely, it is important to activate political contacts with Afghanistan, particularly on a high level, and delegations on various levels should be exchanged more frequently. It is quite clear that there exists serious reservations regarding a more active and involved approach to Afghanistan in the United Nations as well as other international gatherings between uninvolved countries. It is definitely worth considering looking into possible measures in the areas of propaganda and counterpropaganda with the aim of disseminating truthful information about the situation in Afghanistan. For the sake of brevity, we must do everything in our power so that nobody can doubt our support for the present policies of the Afghan leadership.

The Soviet Union is aware that its Czechoslovak friends, guided by an internationalist approach, are providing economic assistance to Afghanistan. Nevertheless, it would be good for us to consider how to make this assistance more effective and how best to suit the needs of Afghanistan.

The Soviet side believes that its Czechoslovak friends will correctly interpret this call to action, which involves our common goals, and that the Czechoslovaks will do everything in their power to further the goal of national reconciliation in Afghanistan