862.20290H/15: Telegram

The Minister in Afghanistan (Engert) to the Secretary of State

141. Soviet Ambassador has seen the Afghan Foreign Minister twice since my 119, June 13, 9 a.m. He informs me that at his last interview a few days ago he was instructed by Allied interests to say that the Soviet Government would continue to respect “Afghan sovereignty and independence” but that it must “insist” on the arrest of the most dangerous of a list of 51 conspirators which he had submitted over a month ago, and that the remainder must be removed from Russian frontier areas.

Moscow also reiterated its “strong advice” that the staffs of the German and Italian Legations be reduced as already mentioned.

Afghan Government replied in a very friendly manner that many of the persons on the frontiers had already been placed under arrest and that others would either also be arrested or moved to other localities.

With regard to the Axis Legations he repeated substantially what he had said to the British Minister—see paragraph 2 my telegram 138, July 8, 9 p.m.,—and added that he was sure the manner in which the question would be settled “will be appreciated by the Soviet Union”.

The Ambassador will take no further action for the present.

Please repeat to Moscow.