Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev concluded a three-day visit to India with a thinly veiled attack on U.S. and Pakistani support for Afghan rebels, and he called for a U.N. conference on protecting Afghanistan's sovereignty.
Gorbachev, his wife, Raisa, and a delegation that included Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze returned to Moscow Sunday after the Soviet leader and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi issued a joint statement covering several foreign policy issues.The statement said both nations "deplore the obstructionist policy of certain forces which are violating" the Geneva Accords governing a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Saturday, Gorbachev said the United States and Pakistan want to abandon the Geneva Accords.
The joint Indo-Soviet statement also called for a conference sponsored by the United Nations to look for ways of preserving the "sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and non-aligned character" of Afghanistan, where rebels backed by the U.S. have recently intensified attacks. The attacks prompted Moscow to suspend its troop withdrawal.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Gorbachev and Gandhi also discussed economic plans to assist Kabul in "a more concerted and structured way," but did not elaborate.
India has never condemned the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and is the only non-communist nation to openly aid the embattled Afghan government.
During their weekend summit, Gorbachev and Gandhi completed the most extensive agreements for Indo-Soviet cooperation in areas of space, technology, science, culture, and power generation.
Moscow agreed to extend an estimated $3.6 billion in credit for various capital works projects, including two nuclear power plants. Indian entrepreneurs will be given greater access across the Soviet Union in a variety of schemes, including construction of 30 hotels.
Gorbachev received an Indian peace prize and closed a yearlong festival of Soviet culture in India during his visit.
But experts said his second trip to India was primarily aimed at easing Indian fears over Soviet moves to normalize ties with China. In his speech Saturday, the Soviet leader advised India to mend its nettlesome relations with China so the three huge countries can work together to "help solve the problems" of Asia and the Pacific.
Gandhi is scheduled to visit Beijing next month, but observers say it is unlikely there will be any breakthrough on two territorial disputes that have prevented a thaw in Sino-Indian relations, which have been frosty since the two countries fought a brief border war in 1962.