YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

U.S., Soviet Aides Trade Charges Over Afghanistan at Vienna East-West Talks

November 29, 1986|From Reuters

VIENNA — The United States on Friday attacked the continued Soviet involvement in Afghanistan as the East-West confrontation at the European security conference took on a sharp new edge.

Western diplomats said Soviet chief delegate Yuri B. Kashlev issued a fierce riposte, blaming the United States for the situation in Afghanistan by citing U.S. weapons supplies to guerrillas fighting there.

U.S. Ambassador Samuel G. Wise Jr. told a plenary session of the conference that the situation "stands as sad testimony to the Soviet Union's basic lack of respect for its solemn commitments in the Helsinki Final Act."

Wise said it was "a violation of each and every one of the principles guiding relations between participating states" in the 35-nation Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, now ending the fourth week of a followup meeting here.

Chief U.S. delegate Warren Zimmerman told a news conference that a sharper tone had marked the plenary and working group meetings in the last week, but added, "I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing."

He said the Soviet Union and its allies had failed to answer most questions put to them on alleged violations of human rights provisions, while Western states had answered when they could.

British ambassador Laurence O'Keefe delivered a speech on behalf of the 12-member European Communities complaining of "bullying and brow-beating" tactics by East Bloc delegates in working group meetings.

"Where is glasnost ?" he asked, referring to the Soviet term for its new policy of openness. "Where are the other new policies we have been looking forward to hearing about with such interest?"

Los Angeles Times Articles