NAM on Kabul
Behind the scenes, the 93 Non-Aligned nations seemed to have reached a consensus on Afghanistan, the issue that seemed to have split the Foreign Ministers Conference, beginning in Delhi on February 9. The formula on the anvil is that the Soviet Union will be mentioned by its name for its intervention in Afghanistan but without any word of criticism or direct condemnation. The direct declaration circulated by India among NAM members through its officials may be amended accordingly. There may be a suggestion that the parties concerned seek a political solution. However, there will be no effort to compromise with the independence, integrity, sovereignty and non-aligned status of Afghanistan. The conference is expected to make a special reference to the UN but without saying what kind of role it is expected to play.
The 36 foreign ministers gathered in Tayef in Saudi Arabia for the Islamic Summit are of the view that the most pressing world issue, that of the Middle East, of which the Palestinian question is the core one and which united the Islamic nations, will be equally instrumental in uniting the NAM countries. Though Iran and Libya boycotted the summit, they are likely to attend the foreign ministers’ summit in Delhi. Yet another Arab demand at Delhi will be the expulsion of Egypt, one of the founders of NAM.
Oil strike ends
Pumping of crude oil from Upper Assam’s oil fields to Bihar’s Barauni refinery was resumed today by employees of Oil India ending their 13-month non-cooperation with the management over the foreigners’ issue. A top Oil India official said that the work resumed after an ultimatum from the company’s management about initiating disciplinary action against the striking employees.