The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Javier Perez de Cuellar, said talks to secure the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan were moving in the right direction.
1. SCU United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar speaking (SOT) (3 shots) 1.29
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE ONE): PEREZ DE CUELLAR: "Obviously among the elements of a solution of the problem is the withdrawal of the troops, is the question of the refugees, the problem of the interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, is the problem of the guarantees for the non-interference in Afghanistan. We are discussing all these problems, but I say that I cannot at this moment express optimism or pessimism. We are still building up this big package, which will be considered as a whole by the parties concerned at a later stage. This is a process which is a rather slow one. But I would like to emphasise that the United Nations involvement is the only real effort in order to solve the problems around Afghanistan. The late statement of Mr Andropov is encouraging. It indicates -- I think I told you at the last press conference -- that the two parties concerned are interested in achieving some positive results soon, and I think that Mr Andropov's move has been a real constructive one."
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Background: UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Javier Perez de Cuellar, said talks to secure the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan were moving in the right direction. Mr Perez de Cuellar, back from a trip that included a Moscow meeting with Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, told a news conference in New York on May 5, that he got very strong support from Mr Andropov for the U.N. efforts on the Afghan question. Asked for details of any settlement at the Geneva negotiations, Mr Perez de Cuellar said the U.N. were working on the basis of a draft comprehensive settlement in which all aspects of the problems were included. This would involve the withdrawal of troops, the question of the Afghan refugees, the problem of interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, and guarantees against any future interference. He emphasised that the United Nations' involvement was the only real effort to solve the problems around Afghanistan. But, as Mr Perez de Cuellar added, he was neither optimistic nor pessimistic, because it was still too early for any clear evaluation of the situation.