• Short Summary

    The British government wants this year's Olympic Games moved from Moscow in protest at the involvement of the Soviet Union in the change of government in Afghanistan.

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    CU INTERIOR: British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, seated in Heathrow Airport, London, replying to reporters' questions.

    CARRINGTON: "If you said to me what are the two most important things that have happened as a result of the Afghan situation, of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, I would say that the Western reaction and the condemnation by the West Was predictable but I think what was not predictable was the very large numbers of non-aligned countries and totalling with the West 104, which voting in the United Nations General Assembly was a condemnation of the Soviet action, and only 18 voted against, and I think that this is very very significant. And I think that the second issue which is important, the second thing which is very important, is the decision of the Islamic Congress, Conference, to have a meeting in Pakistan next week. There is no doubt about it that there is outrage in the Moslem World that a Moslem country has been over-run by the Soviet Union. Now these reactions I think are of the utmost importance. As for ourselves, I think we have got to make sure of the integrity, to help as far as we can, the integrity of those countries in the region."

    REPORTER: "Do you have any reason to believe that the condemnation in the United Nations, the outrage throughout the Moslem World, and the general concern felt by the Western World, is going to have any affect on the Russian presence there, or any future moves that the might be planning?"

    CARRINGTON: "Well, I do not know that it will have any affect upon what is going to happen in Afghanistan. I mean there are eighty thousand or more Soviet troops in Afghanistan and no doubt now that they are there they will do their best to see that the puppet regime is installed and the opposition is crushed. I am not sure that they are gong to find that very easy. We had three Afghan wars in the last century and I do not know that they were very successful. I think it is going to be difficult but I think it would be optimistic to suppose that anything the West can do short of military action is going to reverse that situation. I think what we have got to do is make it abundantly plain that no repetition of that kind is acceptable."



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The British government wants this year's Olympic Games moved from Moscow in protest at the involvement of the Soviet Union in the change of government in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Mrs Margaret Thatcher has called for concerted action by Britain and its allies to persuade the International Olympic Committee to move the games to another venue. Other British moves on the issue have included the deployment of three frigates and an assault vessel to the Mediterranean. The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, after a tour of the Middle East, said the Soviet Union must be told 'so far, and no further'.

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