Washington — U.S. and Soviet diplomats will meet in Washington Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan, the latest in a series of discussions on regional issues, the State Department said Monday.

The United States will be represented by Richard Murphy, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Soviet delegation will by Oleg Sokolov, and No. 2 official in the Soviet Embassy, and Yuli Alekseyev, chief of the Middle East department of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


It is the third meeting this year between representatives of the superpowers to discuss regional issues. Diplomats met in Vienna to discuss the Middle East in February, then in Paris last month to discuss southern Africa. The meetings have been low key.

The talks are the outgrowth of President Reagan’s call, in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last September, for “periodic consultations at policy level about regional problems” with the Soviets.

The talks come following a visit to Washington last week by Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who said both Washington and Moscow are keen for a solution in Afghanistan, where Soviet troops occupying the country since December 1979 and a Soviet backed government have been battling a Moslem insurgency supported by Washington.

Gandhi said he supports a “nonaligned and neutral” government in Kabul, but that India has not

Begun any new peace initiative.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 21, 1985