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Political Topics (Afghanistan)

Venice, June 22, 1980

In seeking here in Venice to define a global economic strategy and to show our united determination to make it a reality, we are consciously accepting the responsibility that falls to the three great industrialized areas of the world - North America, Western Europe and Japan - to help create the conditions for harmonious and sustained economic growth. But we cannot do this alone: others, too, have a part to play.

However, present circumstances oblige us to emphasize that our efforts will only bear fruit if we can at the same time preserve a world in which the rule of law is universally obeyed, national independence is respected and world peace is kept. We call on all countries to join us in working for such a world and we welcome the readiness of nonaligned countries and regional groups to accept the responsibilities which this involves.

We therefore reaffirm hereby that the Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan is unacceptable now and that we are determined not to accept it in the future. It is incompatible with the will of the Afghan people for national independence, as demonstrated by their courageous resistance, and with the security of the States of the region. It is also incompatible with the principles of the United Nations Charter and with efforts to maintain genuine détente. It undermines the very foundations of peace, both in the region and in the world at large.

We fully endorse in this respect the views already expressed by the overwhelming majority of the international community, as set out by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution No. ESVI/2 of 14th January 1980 and by the Islamic Conference at both its recent sessions.

Afghanistan should be enabled to regain the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and nonaligned character it once enjoyed. We therefore call for the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops and for the Afghan people to be left free again to determine their own future.

We have taken note of today's announcement of the withdrawal of some Soviet troops from Afghanistan. In order to make a useful contribution to the solution of the Afghan crisis, this withdrawal, if confirmed, will have to be permanent and continue until the complete withdrawal of the Soviet troops. Only thus will it be possible to reestablish a situation compatible with peace and the rule of law and thereby with the interests of all nations.

We are resolved to do everything in our power to achieve this objective. We are also ready to support any initiative to this end, such as that of the Islamic Conference. And we shall support every effort designed to contribute to the political independence and to the security of the States of the region.

Those governments represented at this meeting which have taken a position against attendance at the Olympic Games vigorously reaffirm their positions.

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Source: U.S., Department of State, Bulletin, No. 2041 (August 1980): 7; Economic Summits, 1975-1986: Declarations (Rome: Istituto Affari Internazionali, 1987): 72-73; Great Britain, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Political Declarations and Statements of Annual Economic Summits, 1978-1986 (London, 198-) [unpublished].

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