INTRODUCTION: The Afghan Foreign Minister, Shah Mohammad Dost, has said that international goodwill and sincerity could help to bring about a solution to his country's problems.
SVs & GV Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mohammad Dost speaking in English. (3 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT) DOST: "Our stand is quite clear on this matter. We are ready to meet with the Pakistani side, and also with the Iranian side, through direct talks and negotiations. And we have made also this clear: that in case we meet with them, and if the Secretary General of the United Nations; his special representative is present there, this should not mean under the auspices of the United Nations, and also not in the context of the resolution which was passed in November last. So this is our position. It must be cleared. Well, that depends actually on them and probably also, maybe, some others which might be interested in this matter: I mean countries. So far as concerning us, we are ready, any day, any moment, actually for such talks."
INTERVIEWER: "We just started the year, 1981. Do you think this year will bring us closer to any solution?"
DOST: "Well, again I must say, that it depends on the intention and sincerity of the countries concerned, mainly Pakistan, and, if there is goodwill and really sincerity to solve the problem around Afghanistan and the region, and to bring peace and stability in the region, then, perhaps through talks, exchange of views, definitely. One can't see that why there shouldn't be sound solutions for all these problems. After all, we are human beings. We in Afghanistan, and definitely in every country, we want peace and tranquillity for our people and the region, and all over the world. And I believe that this must be reciprocated by all countries. And if that perhaps solution can be found, one way of other, for every problem I think."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The Afghan Foreign Minister, Shah Mohammad Dost, has said that international goodwill and sincerity could help to bring about a solution to his country's problems. Mr. Dost was interviewed in the capital, Kabul, on Sunday (26 January), two days before Islamic nations, at their Saudi Arabian summit meeting, decided to launch their own peace initiative to overcome the Afghan crisis. They have asked the United Nations to appoint a special representative to mediate between Afghanistan and its neighbours. The U.N. Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, was reported to be unhappy about appointing a special representative, but observers said he would have to make some positive response to the Islamic initiative. Earlier, President Zia ul-Haq of Pakistan had told the summit he'd received "intimations of flexibility" from Moscow and Kabul. President Zia left these signs suggested it would be a good time for a UN official to start consultations in Kabul. The president's plan was for Pakistan, Iran and the UN representative, to begin negotiations with the Soviet-installed administration in Kabul. Mr. Dost gave his views: