Will Afghan-Pakistani talks affirm Soviet shift?

UN-sponsored talks between Afghanistan and Pakistan begin in Geneva today. Western diplomats will be watching the talks for indications of a shift in the Soviet Union's policy of militarily supporting the Afghan government. The US said Friday it would act as guarantor of an Afghan peace pact if it includes a Soviet troop withdrawal. Some US officials say this pledge was to test the apparent flexibility on this issue expressed by the Soviets at November's superpower summit.

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