• Short Summary

    The United Nations Security Council debate on the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan continued on Sunday (6 January) with a further attack from the United States.

  • Description

    TV Security Council in session

    CU U.S.A. representative Donald Mchenry speaking in English

    GV (MUTE) Council in session

    SV Australian representative H.D. Anderson speaking in English

    CU (MUTE) Soviet representative making notes

    CU Somalia representative Mohamed Sharif speaking in English

    SV AND TV (MUTE) Soviet representative and observers seated (2 shots)

    CU Hungarian representative Imre Hollai speaking in English

    MCHENRY: "A terrible miscalculation has been made by the Soviet authorities. The ramifications of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan are enormous. For no state will be safe against a larger and more powerful neighbour if the international community appears to condone the Soviet's armed intervention. This must be of particular concern to the states whose territories lie near the Soviet border. It is therefore incumbent upon this council and upon every nation that believes in the rule of law and opposes the use of force in international affairs to denounce this dangerous breach of the peace and security."

    A fear that moves towards disarmament would be jeopardised by the intervention was expressed by the Australian representative, H.D. Anderson.

    ANDERSON: "Today more than ever major questions of world security and economics call for international co-operation on the broadcast scale. We had found encouragement in the degree of co-operation that had come into being between the two major nuclear powers on matters relating to the control of arms. We had hoped that the SALT II agreements would come into effect as soon as possible and would in turn open the way to new measures of disarmament and arms control. All of this is now in jeopardy, and we face the spectre of dangerous confrontation. That would be tragedy. Surely the precarious gains in Afghanistan are not worth this for the Soviet Union."

    There was further strong criticism of the U.S.S.R. from the Somali Ambassador, Mohamed Sharif.

    SHARIF: "Mr. President, the Soviet action in Afghanistan must be clearly and severely condemned by this council and by the international community. It violates international law and it has been carried out at a time when world tensions are already high. And when even a lesser incident could trigger a chain of events leading to superpower confrontation and even to nuclear war. This a time of restraint and statesmanship, for sober and responsible conduct of international affairs.

    We urge the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan so that its people can exercise in freedom their inalienable national and political rights and so that a dangerous threat to world peace and security can be removed."

    Support for the Soviet action came from Hungary's representative, Imre Hollai.

    HOLLAI: "We share the view expressed by the distinguished Foreign Minister of Afghanistan that the assistance given by the Soviet government in response to the numerous appeals of the Afghan leaders is in full conformity with the charter of the United Nations and with the treaty concluded between the two countries in December 1978. It is a matter of falling completely within the scope of the domestic affairs of Afghanistan, and doesn't concern anyone but the two countries involved, that is Afghanistan and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In our view, this limited and temporary Soviet move undertaken at the specific request of the Afghan authorities does not represent in any way a threat to the other countries in the region or in the least to the international peace and security."

    Initials IW/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The United Nations Security Council debate on the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan continued on Sunday (6 January) with a further attack from the United States. Australia's representative also criticised the Soviet move, but Hungary strongly supported its Warsaw Pact ally.

    SYNOPSIS: The American U.N. Ambassador, Donald McHenry, continued his attack--started on Saturday--by calling on the Security Council and every country believing in law and order to condemn the Soviet unions's actions.

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