Afghan says Kabul open to US-Soviet security talks

A senior official of Afghanistan's ruling party said Wednesday that Kabul was ready to hold direct talks with Washington and Moscow on Afghan security. Mahmood Barialai, a Central Committee member of the Soviet- backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, said his government was prepared to negotiate at two levels -- regionally with Iran and Pakistan and internationally with the United States, Soviet Union, and the United Nations.

In an interview with Reuters, he also said Afghanistan would discuss all aspects of the current crisis, including tension over the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, and would set no conditions for talks.

Mr. Barialai, in Vienna for a three- day conference on disarmament and detente, said: "We want to talk to the Americans in the presence of the Soviet government and even the UN and have guarantees that the US and her allies will not interfere in the affairs of Afghanistan or use aggression.

"If we have all these international guarantees, there will be no other necessity for Soviet troops to stay in Afghanistan," he said.

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