Statement on the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan

May 1, 1984

We strongly condemn the current Soviet escalation of warfare in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan. These new Soviet military actions are unprecedented in several respects, including the large force levels being employed in the Panjshir Valley against the Afghan resistance and the use for the first time in Afghanistan of high altitude bombing, which will bring untold new suffering to the civilian population.

This new Soviet offensive, the most massive in the 4-year history of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, further highlights the brutal anticivilian tactics being used by the Soviet Union in its efforts to subjugate an independent country. It worsens the instability of the region and raises serious questions concerning the sincerity of Soviet statements that nations should undertake not to use force against each other.

These new Soviet actions seriously undermine the search for a negotiated political settlement, based on the four elements of the repeated U.N. General Assembly resolutions on Afghanistan:

(1) withdrawal of Soviet forces;

(2) restoration of the independent and nonaligned status of Afghanistan;

(3) self-determination for the Afghan people; and

(4) permitting the Afghan refugees who have been forced to flee their own country to return with safety and honor.

The U.S. remains committed to achieving these internationally agreed objectives. It is past time that the Soviet Union respect the wishes of the world community and bring to an end the terrible ordeal which they have imposed on the Afghan people.