MOSCOW — The Tass press agency today quoted Afghan leader Najibullah as saying Soviet troops could withdraw from his country in 12 months or less. According to the Tass report from Kabul, the Afghan capital, Najibullah said he hoped the next round of U.N.-sponsored peace talks with Pakistan in Geneva would be the last.
An estimated 115,000 Soviet soldiers are in Afghanistan to support Najibullah's pro-Soviet Communist government. Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in December, 1979. In recent months, the Soviet Union has appeared anxious to withdraw its troops, but only through a U.N.-negotiated settlement. Najibullah was named president today at a meeting of the Afghan Supreme Assembly, Tass said.