• Short Summary

    The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday (20 November) overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

  • Description

    GV General Assembly President Rudiger von Wechmar speaking in English as delegates listen (2 shots)

    SV Board showing votes of each delegation

    SV Mr. von Wechmar announcing vote result as delegates listen (2 shots)

    SV Soviet Ambassador to United Nations Oleg Troyanovsky speaking in English in response to reporter's question

    SV United States Ambassador Donald McHenry and Sir Anthony Parsons of Britain listening to reporter's question ZOOM IN TO Mr. McHenry speaking in English

    TRANSCRIPTS: RUDIGER VON WECHMAR: "I ask those in favour of the draft resolution before us to signify ... those against... and abstentions.

    "The result of the vote is as follows: in favour -- one hundred and eleven; opposed -- twenty-two; abstentions -- twelve. The draft resolution is adopted."

    REPORTER: "Will Soviet troops withdraw now from Afghanis tan?"

    OLEG TROYANOVSKY: "No, certainly not. We have stated very clearly that we regard discussion of this item in the General Assembly as interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs. And I stated, as did the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan that we, this resolution is not accepted by us."

    REPORTER: "Why did all your behind-the-scenes efforts here and around the world fail to turn the vote around? Your country suffered a worse defeat this time than it is on 14 January."

    OLEG TROYANOVSKY: "Well, probably the efforts of the United States were more than our efforts. Perhaps that was the reason."

    REPORTER: "Is it true, as we have heard, that the Soviet Union, through its diplomatic corps, actually threatened and intimidated some countries in an effort to turn votes around?"

    OLEG TROYANOVSKY: "We never threaten. You know this is a tactic which is usually followed by United States. We don't like to follow their example. Thank you very much."

    REPORTER: "Thank you, sir."

    REPORTER: "Ambassador McHenry, Ambassador Parsons, the Soviet Ambassador just told us that, despite the vote, his country will not withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. Where does that leave things?

    DONALD McHENRY: "Well I don't think that anyone expected the Soviets are going to immediately react to the vote. The vote is a demonstration of the position of the international community and one of the prices which the Soviets pay in continuing to occupy Afghanistan. We hope that the resolution will provide the basis for exploration on the apart of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative. And we hope the Soviet Union, having witnessed the fact that the vote is greater than last year, and despite some bullying efforts on the part of some representatives, remained firm and grew larger. That there is no change in the position of the international community, with regard to their invasion of Afghanistan."

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday (20 November) overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The resolution did not mention the Soviet Union by name, referring instead to `foreign troops'. The resolution also called for the appointment of a special representative appointed by Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim to promote a political solution to the crisis. After Assembly President Rudiger von Wechmar had announced the result, Soviet Ambassador to the U.N. Oleg Troyanovsky and United States Ambassador Donald McHenry were asked for their reaction to the outcome.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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