Afghan Foreign Minister Shah Muhammad Dost has dismissed the West's proposals for a neutral Afghanistan as the actions of a frustrated "imperialist", according to the Soviet News Agency Tass.
SV INTERIOR: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, on right, with Afghan Foreign Minister Shah Muhamuad Dost on left entering room
SV: Gromyko and Dost walk to table and sit down
SV PAN: From Dost TO Gromyko opposite
SV: People sitting round table
SV EXTERIOR: Flags flaying at airport
GV: Dost and Gromyko walking across tarmac
SV: Dost shaking hands with officials PAN TO airline official saluting
SV: Dost and Gromyko shake hands and Dost walks up steps
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Background: Afghan Foreign Minister Shah Muhammad Dost has dismissed the West's proposals for a neutral Afghanistan as the actions of a frustrated "imperialist", according to the Soviet News Agency Tass. Tass quoted Mr Dost as saying "reactionary forces" had dreamed up the idea to realise their thwarted designs on Afghanistan. The Afghan Foreign Minister has been in Moscow for a two-day official visit, which ended on Friday (14 March).
SYNOPSIS: Mr Dost was the first Afghan minister to pay an official visit to the Soviet Union since Babrak Kamal came to power in Afghanistan on December the 27th in a Soviet-backed coup. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko had several rounds of talks with Mr Dost, and pledged the utmost Soviet assistance and support to the present Afghan administration.
Mr Gromyko said during Mr. Dost's visit that a political situation in Afghanistan would be welcome. But any attempts to solve the affairs of the Afghan people behind their backs would end in failure.
Mr Dost left Moscow on Friday (14 March) for home with Mr Gromyko's assurance that Soviet troops would to be withdrawn until the threat of what he termed "outside interference" had been removed.
Soviet soldiers poured into Afghanistan shortly before December the 27th's coup, and United States intelligence sources estimate that the Soviet force in Afghanistan is now more than eight thousand strong.
But despite the Soviet presence heavy fighting continued in eastern Afghanistan on Friday (14 March) as guerrillas struck at targets within nine miles (14.5 kilometres) of the capital, Kabul.