EC keeps pressing USSR for Afghanistan withdrawal

Foreign ministers of the European Economic Community have decided to keep pressing the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, but concede that their search for a mediating role in the Middle East remains in stalemate.

A spokesman for Lord Carrington, British foreign secretary and president of the EEC Council of Ministers, said that the ministers agreed to keep their proposal for an international conference on Afghanistan on the table.

The proposal has been supported by Pakistan, Iran, the United States and China but rebuffed by the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. Lord Carrington will seek to enlist wider support for it at the UN General Assembly session later this month. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko will also be at the assembly , where he is due to hold separate talks with Secretary of State Alexander Haig.

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