Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Transcript of key Daud-Kissinger meeting released

NEW YORK, Dec 23 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Nearly two and half decades before the US-led forces entered Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime, then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had told former Afghan president Mohammad Daud the Afghans had always made things difficult for foreign forces on their soil. --- "From what I know of Afghan history, you always gave a lot of difficulties to whoever came in here," Kissinger told Daud in a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on the afternoon of August 8, 1976. The meeting had lasted more than two hours. --- The remarks amidst laughter by Kissinger came after Daud observed that Afghanistan due to its peculiar geographical position had been faced with difficulties of one kind or another. The time that passed since the 1976 meeting proved right. First it was the Russian forces who were forced out and now NATO troops - despite support from the public and the duly elected government - are facing difficulties in Afghanistan. --- Daud responded in the same vein: "In fact they created difficulties for us! Others came to our house, not we to theirs." To this Kissinger replied: "But you didn't make things too comfortable for them." --- The transcript of the meeting released by the State Department this week gives an interesting insight into the mindset of Daud and indicates the then Afghanistan president had an inkling of a possible foreign intervention short of aggression -- and had sought help from the US government in terms of sharing advance information in this regard.


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