Afghanistan President Babrak Karmal has appeared at a press conference in Kabul to thank moscow for sending troops into his country according to a Tass News Agency report.The press conference last week (4 January) was the first reported public appearance of Mr.
GV ZOOM INTO CU Soviet tank in centre of Kabul (2 shots)
GV & SV Tanks and personnel carriers making way out of Kabul (4 shots)
GV Television studios in Kabul
SV People on streets reading newspapers showing photographs of new government (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR President Babrak Karmal walks into room and is applauded by official (2 shots)
SV Karmal making address
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Background: Afghanistan President Babrak Karmal has appeared at a press conference in Kabul to thank moscow for sending troops into his country according to a Tass News Agency report.The press conference last week (4 January) was the first reported public appearance of Mr. Karmal since he was installed in power on 27 December 1979. Tass reported the new leader as saying the Soviet Union has always acted on the international scene ' in defence of the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan'.
SYNOPSIS: Reporter from Kabul say the Soviet military presence is still visible in the capital. Tanks patrol various parts of the city and Soviet troops guard all strategic points. Lines of soviet tanks have been rumbling out of Kabul to crush pockets of resistance to the new government. Reports say by moving its troops into the countryside the Soviets hope to deal a crushing blow to rebel groups strongholds. There have been reports of clashes in several provinces and the rebel force have gained strength with the desertion of many troops from the Afghan army.
Film from Soviet Television taken recently showed Kabul to be quiet and peaceful. At the same time western sources in Kabul said strong anti-Soviet feeling has gradually built up in the capital and unconfirmed reports about of attacks on Soviet citizens in the country.
The new President Babrak Karmal was given a warm reception before his addressed at television studios in kabul. Mr. Karmal had not been seen since he was sacked as Afghanistan's ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1978.
President Karmal described assertions by 'imperialist circles' that Moscow had interfered in Afghan affairs as 'an obvious provocation and a knowing lie'. He said assistance given to his government had been in full accordance with the United Nations charter. Mr. Karmal condemned his executed predecessor Hafizullah Amin as a hardline Marxist who was pushing through radical reforms which had won him wide unpopularity, as an imperialist agent. He said his government was opposed to 'any effort inspired by the west to organise a discussion of the so-called Afghan question within the United Nations'.