Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko launched a frontal attack on China and accused it of trying to push the continent towards war and shatter peace in the region. He urged all countries of the region to join efforts to fight this menace and guard against any attempts at expansionism. Speaking at a lunch in honour Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Kremlin, he said China’s aggressive designs and hegemonic policy were increasingly manifest now. The most striking example of this was Peking’s gross provocations against Vietnam.
India and the Soviet Union expressed the conviction that their principled relationship had not faced any “doubts or disappointments” after the Janata government came to power. The two countries reaffirmed that the independent foreign policy pursued by their governments, including with China, would not come in the way of deepening Indo-Soviet friendship. These conclusions emerged after the first day of talks between External Affair Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Soviet counterpart, Andrei Gromyko.
While the situation in Ballia and Ghazipur remains critical, the Yamuna deluge passing over Etawah is now reaching Hamirpur and Banda, where, the flood-devastated areas are preparing for a fresh onslaught. The spur of the Ballia-Beria bund has been washed away which is now threatening large areas with virtual deluge. More army units and PAC men have been deployed for relief and rescue work in Ballia.
Crackdown In Iran
Security forces acting under martial law arrested a clergyman, several journalists and a former cabinet member in a sweeping government clampdown on opposition groups in Iran. The clergyman, Sheikh Yahya Asiri Noorl, was charged with a plot against the state by stirring up protest demonstrations.