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The World

March 15, 1988

Pakistan dashed hopes that a U.N.-sponsored Afghan peace settlement could be signed by today, repeating its demand at talks in Geneva that an accord must be accompanied by the formation of an independent transitional government to replace the Soviet-backed Kabul regime. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev had said that if an accord were signed by March 15, Moscow would begin withdrawing an estimated 115,000 troops on May 15. Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vadim P. Loginov, accompanying Gorbachev on a visit to Belgrade, Yugoslavia, said that Moscow has decided to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan but has set no firm deadline for an agreement. Further talks are expected in Geneva today.

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