• U.S.

Afghanistan: New Offer, Old Refusal

1 minute read

When is an arms cutoff not an arms cutoff? That was the riddle confronting Washington last week as it pondered what could be the final obstacle in talks on a Soviet pullout from Afghanistan. The trouble stems from a U.S. demand that Moscow end all military aid to the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul once Washington stops sending weapons to the mujahedin. Moscow refused to go along, and Washington offered a compromise: the U.S. will allow the Soviets to keep supplying Kabul if Moscow allows Washington to continue arming the rebels.

Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gennadi Gerasimov called the novel approach “unacceptable,” and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze again threatened a unilateral Soviet troop pullout. That would leave Moscow with no obligation to help restore peace in Afghanistan or resettle the 2 million Afghan refugees now living in Pakistan.

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